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Atheists to play part on Remembrance Sunday

ATHEISTS are to play an official part in Scotland's national Remembrance Sunday commemorations for the first time.

The Humanist Society of Scotland (HSS) has been granted permission to lay a wreath at Edinburgh's Stone of Remembrance on behalf of non-religious servicemen and women.

The move will make Scotland the first country in the UK to include non-believers in a national Remembrance ceremony, but secular campaigners are hopeful that London, Cardiff and Belfast will follow Edinburgh's lead.

Marilyn Jackson, spokeswoman for HSS's Edinburgh group, revealed that members have been granted permission to take part in next month's parade and ceremony.

She said: "Our previous request to lay a wreath was turned down, but we feel strongly that those with no religion who lost their lives in combat should be represented on Remembrance Sunday, so we kept on asking.

"We are delighted that Royal British Legion Scotland has invited us to participate this year and it will be an honour to have a contingent in the parade."

Jackson hoped the move would set a precedent for secular representation in other parts the UK.

The group's wreath will feature the Humanist logo and the simple message: "For those who gave their lives for us. We will remember them."

Neil Griffiths, of Royal British Legion Scotland, which organises the annual event, confirmed that Humanist representatives would be welcomed for the first time.

He said: "We recognise that there are plenty of ex-servicemen and women who are humanists. They respect the act of Remembrance and, as such, we had absolutely no objections to them taking part."

 
 
 

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