The Pope offered prayers for the people of Dunblane today on the first anniversary of the tragic massacre in which 16 children and their teacher were killed.
No formal remembrance service has been held in the town as parents and family and friends have marked the anniversary in their own individual ways.
DUNBLANE was left alone to grieve for its dead children today.
On the first anniversary of the massacre in which 16 children and their teacher died, the world stood back and allowed the families to mourn in peace.
World leaders and politicians, as well as the world's media, respected the families' request for privacy.
Messages of support were sent through church leaders. The Pope offered prayers for all who died and for those who were bereaved on March 13 last year.
And a request for privacy was also issued by the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Right Reverend John McIndoe.
He said: "The last thing that is wanted is any insensitive intrusion under guise of the public 'right-to-know'.
"There are times and circumstances when we the public must forego the right to know in favour of a proper reticence and this is one of them."
The leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland, Cardinal Thomas Winning, added his message of hope.
He said: "Evil did not have the last word. So much testifies to that truth.
"The acknowledgement of the sacredness of human life.
"The spontaneous immediate spirit of solidarity which unleashed seams of goodness throughout the world.
"The Snowdrop Petition which galvanised so many into working together to help build a safe society."
No formal remembrance service was held as parents and people of the town marked the anniversary in their own individual ways.
The grieving families were making a strictly private and personal visit to the local primary school where the children and their teacher died.
The focus of the pilgrimage is the bed of fine gravel, dotted with tubs and shrubs, where once stood the now demolished gym where the massacre took place.
And at 7pm tonight, the front windows of houses in the town and throughout the country will be lit by candles, as a tribute to the lights which were extinguished last March 13.
The Evening Times On-Line: 13 March 1997