THEY are powerful and emotion-charged recollections of moments in time from the pandemic.

From simple thoughts and feelings to the most heart-breaking accounts of how people have been affected in the past 15 months, they are being captured and recorded as part of The Herald’s national covid memorial campaign.

Through the theme of I remember – a form which is being used as a way to engage with people across Scotland, our artist Alec Finlay is reaching out to people.

Mr Finlay was appointed to lead the artistic engagement phase of our campaign last month. Our aim is to create a fitting memorial to those who lost their lives during the pandemic and a place for anyone who has been affected whether it be grieving for a lost loved one or recovering from the virus itself and living with ‘long covid.’ Anyone can contribute their own I remember.

HeraldScotland: I remember forms are being collectedI remember forms are being collected

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Just days after the campaign was launched in May 2020 by The Herald, Glasgow City Council came forward with the offer of hosting the memorial in the grounds of the stunning Pollok Country Park.

A public fund has raised more than £63,000 towards the memorial which include high profile donations and many generous donations from bereaved families and our readers.

Bereaved relatives have come up with their own fundraising initiatives which has been very moving.

HeraldScotland: The Herald is fundraising for a national memorialThe Herald is fundraising for a national memorial

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It is also our hope that was is created in the park will have a ripple affect to connect people across Scotland through satellite locations.

Everyone has a story to tell about how the pandemic has changed their lives and we want to hear from you. We are encouraging people to get in touch and submit their own personal I remember, intended to be anonymous. These will then feature in a blog on our website with some incorporated into what will eventually become the memorial.

Already Mr Finlay has been gathering I remembers which range in sentiment and experience of people living through the pandemic. It is hoped they will form part of a lasting memorial through a dedicated book while a physical memorial in the park will offer people somewhere to go to reflect.

During the engagement process dedicated workshops will be held with various groups including communities, workforces at the frontline of the pandemic, and young people’s organisations as well as bereaved families.

This week Mr Finlay began conversations in Pollok Country Park where the memorial will be located, a park which he has personal connections to. It was his great-aunt Anne Maxwell Macdonald who gifted what was Old Pollok Estate to the then Glasgow Corporation in 1966 with the condition that the public were to have access.

HeraldScotland: Alec Finlay and colleague Lucy Richards met council teams at Pollok Country ParkAlec Finlay and colleague Lucy Richards met council teams at Pollok Country Park

In the past Mr Finlay has created memorial artworks that combine physical objects and acts of remembrance – tying paper wishes on trees, planting tree seeds along the John Muir Way, communal silent walks at National Trust properties marking the centenary of the First World War.

Mr Finlay, who will be working on the project with co-creators Lucy Richards, inclusive designer, and writer Ken Cockburn, said: “We are beginning to have conversations about how the memorial could take shape in the park and working with the countryside rangers and park gardeners is very important.”

Among the I remembers which have been received are moving tributes to lost loved ones.

"The ‘I remember’ form was devised by the American artist Joe Brainard.

The only rule is that they must consist of a single sentence that

begins, ‘I remember…’," added Mr Finlay. "We are beginning to see real emotion come through in some of them. They are touching contribtions."

One submission read: "I remember the first lockdown contentedness, living like a peasant in the 18th century, digging the soil, not straying, staying local, finding new paths.

HeraldScotland: How you can donate to the campaignHow you can donate to the campaign

While another read:"I remember the feeling of fear when I tested positive, knowing others who had died."

And reflecting on the early days of lockdown, one read: "I remember mum saying she just missed going to the supermarket."

To submit an I remember email covidmemorial@Theherald.co.uk

To find out more about the campaign go to www.heraldscotland.com/campaigns/memorial-garden/