‘Lights Out’ as mark of respect
The floodlights at Lerwick Town Hall will be turned off for an hour next month to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.
Shetland Islands Council is supporting a nation-wide Lights Out initiative in memory of the conflict’s beginning.
Everyone in the UK is being encouraged to turn off their lights between 10pm and 11pm on Monday 4th August, as part of a shared moment of reflection.
Switching off the town hall’s floodlights will leave just the flagpole illuminated during that hour.
Other buildings and landmarks across the UK due to turn off their lights will be the Houses of Parliament, Blackpool Illuminations, and Tower Bridge.
A candlelit vigil service will also be broadcast from Westminster Abbey.
The inspiration for Lights Out comes from a remark made on the eve of the outbreak of war in 1914 by the then British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey, who said: “The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our life-time.”
SIC convener Malcolm Bell said: “In common with the rest of the country, many people in Shetland will have forebears who were affected by the First World War. In commemorative events over the next four years, there will be many opportunities to pause and spend time in quiet, dignified, reflection.
“Lights Out provides an opportunity for us to spend a few moments remembering the start of the war in communion with thousands of others across Shetland and the rest of the UK. I hope as many as possible will take the opportunity to be part of this collective but simple mark of respect.”