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The completion of I remember: Scotland’s Covid Memorial, three years since the first lockdown

People in Scotland fell silent today to mark a day of reflection and to remember those lost or affected by the Pandemic.

A minute's silence was held within the grounds of Pollock Country Park in Glasgow at 12 noon today.

Covid Memorial Artist and Poet Alec Finlay and Scotland's Makar, or National Poet for Scotland, Kathleen Jamie were present.

We wrote about the Scottish Memorial back in June 2021, with a post written by Alec Finlay who also has Long Covid. He included this poem:

I remember

I remember being sick in February and everyone telling me that it wasn’t covid

I remember my first ‘walk’ in the wheelchair, meeting Annie, and agreeing the wild garlic seems early every year

I remember when I could walk for miles and didn’t, and now I wish that I had

The National memorial has now been completed and today's event was open to all attend, welcoming anyone affected by the pandemic to remember the loss of a loved one or someone who has been affected by Long Covid or any other life changing illness.

Here is a transcript of Alec's address earlier today:

"When we began ‘I remember’, I said that, although we must honour the dead, together we must also make this a living artwork, because the pandemic isn’t over. How could it be, given the choice to allow the virus to periodically surges through us.

It isn’t over for the mother, who wrote me saying she, her two daughters, and their two fathers, are still shielding in their small world.

It isn’t over for the nurse, who wrote me saying, we’re almost at Dad’s three-year anniversary – I still miss him every single day.

It isn’t over for the Post Office worker, who wrote asking me to add her husband’s name, with love from her and their son, and that I should say he was open-hearted.

It isn’t over for the nurses, chapping on the door of Number 10, because Long Covid isn’t defined as a workplace injury – a base lie – and their futures are uncertain.

It isn’t over for Katie, who says:

I have

difficulty moving

difficulty standing

     difficulty eating

difficulty talking

difficulty breathing

it’s like

being frozen