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Saturday, 11 November, 2000, 18:31 GMT
Scotland marks Armistice Day
Temporary garden of remembrance, Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh
People observe the two minutes' silence
Millions of people across the UK have observed a two-minute silence marking the moment the guns stopped and WWI ended in 1918.

Shops and airports, railway stations and other venues across the country fell silent at 1100GMT - on the 11th day of the 11th month - to mark Armistice Day.

Although the official remembrance ceremonies will take place on Sunday, the silence marked the exact moment the guns stopped firing 82 years ago.

Millennium Dome
There were celebrations at the dome on Saturday
In Edinburgh, about 300 people gathered at the temporary garden of remembrance which has been set up in Princes Street Gardens.

Organisers said they had been pleasantly surprised by the number of people who took part.

Neil Griffiths, head of the Scottish Poppy Appeal, said: "Normally if it is on a weekday it is easier to organise through councils, through schools and through companies.

"We anticipated a record Scottish poppy year, but also a slightly lower level of observance because it is a Saturday.

'Spontaneous' event

"But, I think we can honestly say that this two minutes' silence on the 11th of the 11th, which was only reintroduced in 1995, is the single biggest spontaneous demonstration for any cause that I can think of.

"So we can be well satisfied."

A record 1.3m was donated to the Poppy Appeal last year, and Mr Griffiths said he was hopeful of exceeding that total.

Lieutenant Campbell Graham, a former Scots Guardsman, said that the events to mark Britain's war dead meant a great deal to the surviving servicemen.

He said: "It means an awful lot to me after serving 38 years in the Scots Guards.

"When I left the Scots Guards I took over the Maryhead Poppy Factory as a manager and I was working down there for 12 years.

Youngsters' respect

"In fact, more so because, in the six months prior to leaving the regiment I was involved in having to go around all the families and tell the mothers and fathers either that their son was killed or they were wounded in the Falklands.

Children have also been taking part
"So it means an awful lot to me.

"An awful lot of people think the youngsters don't want to know.

"The youngsters do know and, with the experience of being with the garden of remembrance all week, its amazing how many youngsters come up and ask how it started and what was a poppy for.

"It opened my eyes to it."

The Royal British Legion estimated that more than 40 million people observed the two-minute silence across the UK.

At the Millennium Dome in Greenwich, 2,000 schoolchildren joined hands to form a circle of remembrance in memory of the dead and as a symbol of hope for future generations.

Official recognition

Prime Minister Tony Blair came out from Downing Street to join crowds at the Cenotaph for the silence.

Earlier Mr Blair said: "The first Remembrance Day of the new century provides an important opportunity to reflect on the debt owed to those who fought and died so we can all enjoy peace and freedom."

Official recognition of Remembrance Sunday in Scotland will be led by First Minister Henry McLeish.

He will lay a wreath at the Stone of Remembrance in the Royal Mile in Edinburgh.

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26 Oct 00 | Entertainment
S Club 7 launch poppy appeal
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