For a few minutes, the only sound in George Square was a chorus of Amazing Grace and soft weeping from the crowd. Orange leaves cascaded over rows of crosses as servicemen and women held red poppy wreaths; eyes intently on the Rev Dr Karen K Campbell standing at the podium.

When the song ended, Rev Campbell led the service in prayer. Rev Campbell said thoughts turn to faces from photo albums and voices of long-ago friends that brought us here this day.

“We give thanks for the good that all these people did in their lives; who brought health and happiness and life into this world, and who by their death lay wounds which still hurt,” she said.

The annual Opening Ceremony of the Glasgow Garden of Remembrance yesterday led by Glasgow Lord Provost Eva Bolander brought dozens of members of the Armed Forces community together in a poignant wreath-laying ceremony.

The event marks the start of the two-week Remembrance period that honours both active servicemen and women and those who died in combat.

More than 25 wreaths were laid at the service that was co-sponsored by Legion Scotland, the largest ex-service membership charity in Scotland, and Poppyscotland, a British charity for the Armed Forces. Music was provided by the Band of the Royal Regiment Gibraltar, which played songs such as Hallelujah and hymns during the event.

Jim Smith, a veteran of the Ayrshire Yeomanry, attended the event with veterans of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Billy Bootland, John Rennie and Steward Cameron-Ward. The men said they came to pay respect to fallen service members, but also because they believe it is important for the community to support their veterans.

“If young people don’t come along and see this and join in, [the veterans] will be forgotten,” Mr Smith said.

Echoing the words of Winston Churchill, the veterans also believed if schools fail to teach children about past wars that the future will be doomed to repeat itself.

“If you forget your history, the events will happen again,” Mr Bootland said.

Unlike many in the crowd who either wore uniforms or a jacket fastened with a red poppy, Michelle Drayton-Harrold, an Army nurse veteran, fashioned herself in a First World War nurse’s dress. She was inspired by a Remembrance Day event where people represented a soldier who died by standing silently in train stations.

“I think it’s important that we remember those who sacrificed so much in the Great War, and in all wars, really,” Ms Drayton-Harrold said. “I feel like it’s my duty to preserve their honor.”

Legion Scotland Chief Executive Dr Claire Armstrong said the event was both well-organised and poignant. She thinks the Glasgow Garden of Remembrance serves an important role in the community not only on Remembrance Day, but throughout the year.

“It’s important that in a busy city like this to have something like the garden to have somewhere people can come and reflect and think of those who made the ultimate sacrifice,” Armstrong said.

Lt Gen Sir Alistair Irwin, who also read scripture, concluded the event with a Second World War epitaph.

Mr Irwin said: “When you go home tell them of us and say for your tomorrow, we gave our today.”