Bikers pay tribute to armed forces in Edinburgh

Bikers attend a remembrance service at the American War Memorial in Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh. Picture: PA
Bikers attend a remembrance service at the American War Memorial in Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh. Picture: PA
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Hundreds of bikers gathered in the capital today to pay tribute to serving troops and those who have died in war.

War Torn Troops Remembered (WTTR), a group which supports forces’ charity Poppyscotland, made its second annual Ride with Respect trip to Edinburgh today.

Departing from Straiton Park & Ride, the convoy of more than 200 motorbikes, scooters, trikes and quad bikes travelled to the Scots American War Memorial in Princes Street Gardens West for a remembrance service.

WTTR was founded by Colour Sergeant James Thomson, from 2 SCOTS, and fellow biker Karen Holmes, who set up the first Ride with Respect last year.

Mr Thomson, who served as a liaison officer for the families of service personnel injured or killed in Afghanistan, said: “WTTR is about bringing awareness to those who have been injured or killed while serving their country.

“But it is also to pay tribute to the mums, dads, brothers, sisters and loved ones who have always been there to offer their support. The people who are today’s heroes are tomorrow’s veterans.”

A branded poppy bike was unveiled in tribute to Poppyscotland, which will be displayed at a number of biking events in 2014.

Poppyscotland’s community fundraiser Kirstie Mitchell praised the “enthusiastic bikers who paid tribute and helped to raise funds in a way that fits with their love of biking”.

The Scots American War Memorial was chosen as the location because, as a walled monument, it takes inspiration from other similar biking events such as Rolling Thunder in Washington DC, USA, and Ride To The Wall at the National Memorial Arboretum in England.