The Scottish Government has backed a national day of reflection being held across the UK to remember those who died during the coronavirus pandemic and support the bereaved.
Taking place on March 23, a year on from when the UK first went into lockdown, there will be a national minute of silence at noon and people will be encouraged to shine a light from their doorsteps at 8pm.
Prominent buildings and landmarks throughout the UK will be illuminated, with the Kelpies, Wallace Monument and Ness Bridge among those in Scotland.
End of life charity Marie Curie is organising the event and is being backed by more than 100 organisations, including the emergency services, businesses, charities and community groups.
The Scottish Government is among those supporting the event and is inviting people to take part and to reach out to someone they know is grieving.
The latest National Records of Scotland figures indicate 9,725 deaths were registered in Scotland where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, as of March 7.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “None of us will ever forget this past year. The last 12 months have been unimaginably tough for everybody, and it is right we pause to remember those we have lost, and offer our continued thoughts, solidarity and support to the bereaved.
“As we remember, we can also reflect on how far we have come in a relatively short period of time, and begin to look toward the future. Because of our collective sacrifice, there are people alive now who would otherwise have lost their life to the virus; and we now have vaccines, offering us hope that we can soon get back to a more normal way of life.
“By supporting one another and sticking with restrictions a little longer, we will get out of this crisis and return to a world where we can properly see friends and loved ones again, travel freely, and work, socialise and go on holiday once more.”
A series of free online talks involving expert panels, bereaved families and celebrities will take place on the day, produced by the Good Grief Festival.
Marie Curie’s chief executive, Matthew Reed, said: “We welcome the news that the Scottish Government is signalling their support for a National Day of Reflection on March 23, on the anniversary of the first UK lockdown.
“The last year has been one of the most traumatic and uniting in modern history. With so many of us losing someone close, our shared sense of loss is incomparable to anything felt by this generation.
“Many of us have been unable to say a real goodbye or comfort our family, friends, and colleagues in their grief. We need to acknowledge that – and that we are not alone.”
He said the day will enable people to “reflect on our collective loss, celebrate the lives of the special people no longer here, support those who’ve been bereaved and look towards a much brighter future”.