First Minister lays a wreath at Edinburgh Remembrance Sunday service

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
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Silence fell across Edinburgh this morning as thousands of people gathered to pay their respects on Remembrance Sunday.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was joined by Lord Provost Frank Ross and senior military personnel at a service organised by Legion Scotland at the City Chambers today.

A parade marched from the castle to the City Chambers. Picture: M Owens/Poppyscotland

A parade marched from the castle to the City Chambers. Picture: M Owens/Poppyscotland

More than 90 wreaths were laid at the event, which was followed by a service across the road in St Giles’ Cathedral.

Ms Sturgeon, who laid a wreath at the Stone of Remembrance at the City Chambers, said of those who lost their lives serving their country: "Their sacrifice is responsible for the freedoms and the way of life that we take for granted today.

"This is an opportunity to give gratitude, to show our respect, and to send a message that that sacrifice will never be forgotten.

"I'm privileged today to lay a wreath on behalf of the people of Scotland and I do so with the utmost gratitude and respect, not just for the sacrifices of the past, but for the courage and the sacrifices of our armed forces today."

Picture: Neil Hanna

Picture: Neil Hanna

Dr Claire Armstrong, the CEO of Legion Scotland, said: “Remembrance Sunday is our way of commemorating and honouring those who serve to defend our freedoms and way of life.”

She added: “We are now in the shadow of the centenary of the Armistice of The Great War, but that in no way lessens the importance of Remembrance. The attendance here today in the capital and number of wreaths laid on behalf of the ex-Service and professional organisations, along with civic bodies, is a poignant demonstration that Remembrance remains at the forefront of the national consciousness.”

D-Day veteran Whitson Johnson, who fought in Burma during the Second World War and now lives in Portobello, in Edinburgh, said: “It was a very moving service and being so close up to what was going on made all the difference.

"Today meant a lot to me and it has been a great privilege to be a part of it all. During the silence, I thought of my time in Burma where I experienced a great many things.

The event was attended by veterans and serving military personnel. Picture: Neil Hanna

The event was attended by veterans and serving military personnel. Picture: Neil Hanna

“We must remember. I am great believer in history and one has to realise what has gone in the past, as I remember my father who served in the First World War.

"It is very important that people do remember as they would not be doing what they are doing today if it hadn’t been for those who served. The younger people are taking a greater interest in what happened in the past and it is only right that we should all remember.”