First Minister leads tributes on Remembrance Sunday

Remembrance Day parade and wreath laying at the City Chambers in Edinburgh. Picture: Greg Macvean

Remembrance Day parade and wreath laying at the City Chambers in Edinburgh. Picture: Greg Macvean

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The First Minister has laid a wreath on behalf of the people of Scotland as ceremonies to remember servicemen and women killed in conflict were held across the country.

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon lays a wreath. Picture: Greg Macvean

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon lays a wreath. Picture: Greg Macvean

Hundreds gathered outside St Giles’ Cathedral on the Royal Mile for Edinburgh’s Remembrance Sunday memorial event organised by veterans’ charity Legion Scotland.

Military chiefs, emergency services and regimental associations from across the country also came out in force to pay their respects and take part in a two-minute silence.

Nicola Sturgeon was joined by Scotland Office Minister Andrew Dunlop and president of Legion Scotland Sir Alistair Irwin for the wreath-laying at the Stone of Remembrance outside the City Chambers.

She said: “Today is about remembering with respect and with gratitude all of those who sacrificed their lives so that we can enjoy the way of life that we have today.

Remembrance Day parade in Edinburgh. Picture: Greg Macvean

Remembrance Day parade in Edinburgh. Picture: Greg Macvean

“Year after year veterans come to remember and to share their own memories, but also to pay their respects to those who didn’t come home from conflict. That is humbling for all of us.

“Every year that passes it becomes more and more important to remember on this day as the distance gets longer from the first and the second world wars, making sure that generations to come remember the sacrifice, remember the reasons for conflicts, so that we can do everything we can to avoid it in future.”

A wreath was also laid by Arctic Convoy veteran James Simpson, 95, from Inveresk, Musselburgh, who served time on the HMS Devonshire during the Second World War.

Kevin Gray, Legion Scotland’s chief executive officer, said: “We must learn from the amazing stories and experiences of those who have served their country, many of whom paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Tom Gilzean throws down a poppy. Picture: Greg Macvean

Tom Gilzean throws down a poppy. Picture: Greg Macvean

“Sadly, as time moves on the memories become more and more inherited, so now more than ever is the time to ensure we take time to pause, reflect and remember.

“Remembrance Sunday allows the whole nation to come together to pay their respects to those brave men and women who came from every community in Scotland.”

Mr Dunlop said: “It is a great privilege, and hugely humbling, to lay a wreath as part of Legion Scotland’s ceremony to pay tribute to the fallen.

“It is so important that we remember the servicemen and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice so that we can live freely, and to stand together on Remembrance Sunday to honour them.

“We should also take time today to thank our serving military personnel for the vital role they play in keeping our country safe.”

In Glasgow, Legion Scotland representatives as well as serving military, clergy and civic leaders observed a two-minute silence at the cenotaph in George Square.

Lord Provost Sadie Docherty was joined at the event by Deputy First Minister John Swinney, Baroness Annabel Goldie, Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale, Police Scotland Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service assistant chief officer Lewis Ramsay.

Aberdeen marked Remembrance Sunday with a ceremony in front of the city’s war memorial on Schoolhill, with serving forces, reserves, veterans and cadets in attendance.

Lord Provost George Adam led the laying of wreaths before a church service at the Kirk of St Nicholas Uniting.

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