Lest We Forget: Remembrance Sunday

Posted on 09/11/2014 by

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Scotland will pause for two minutes at 11am today as people across the country take part in a two-minute silence to remember those who have died in conflicts.

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This Remembrance Sunday, political leaders pay their respects to those who made the ultimate sacrifice:

The Prime Minister paid tribute to the Armed Forces, both past and present, this Remembrance Sunday.

David Cameron said: “”Today we stand united to remember the courageous men and women who have served our country, defended our freedoms and kept us safe. We remember all those who have fallen and those who have risked their lives to protect us.

“This year has been particularly poignant as we mark so many milestones.

“Most notably, the centenary of the start of the First World War. Yesterday I joined the millions of people who have visited the Tower of London to see the poppies installed there to mark the centenary. This is an incredibly moving, yet stark reminder of how many people gave their lives in that conflict – and it reminds us of all those who have done so since then.

“This summer we also marked the 70th anniversary of D-Day and I had the privilege of attending the commemorative events in Normandy and hearing one of my constituents tell his story of the incredible victory there and the comrades he left behind. I will never forget his words and the pride they felt in the job they had done. They will never be forgotten. Their sacrifice secured a better future for us all.

“And that is exactly what our troops returning from combat operations in Afghanistan have achieved. While Camp Bastion has now closed, we will never forget that 453 of our armed forces made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in Afghanistan. We are safer here in the UK because of the battles they have fought there and we owe everyone who has been a part of that campaign our gratitude.

“We owe each and every member of our Armed Forces and the families who support them a tremendous debt – one that can never be repaid – and I pay huge tribute to their bravery and resolve.”

PoppiesFirst Minister Alex Salmond will attend the National Remembrance Service at St Giles Cathedral today where he will lay a wreath at the Stone of Remembrance on behalf of the people of Scotland.

The 2014 service is especially poignant as it comes during the centenary commemorations of the First World War.

It is also the first year that representatives from the Federal Republic of Germany will participate in a Scottish Remembrance Sunday commemoration, during a routine docking of German Frigate FGS BRANDENBURG in Leith.

During the Remembrance event, the First Minister will meet Ivo Schneider FGN, Commanding Officer of the German Navy, as well as Meghan Mathews, whose father died in 2008 while serving in Afghanistan. Meghan, accompanied by her grandfather, will recite the famous lines from Binyon’s poem, An Ode to Remembrance.

Ahead of laying a wreath at the Stone of Remembrance in Edinburgh, the First Minister said: “The people of Scotland will always honour, with respect and appreciation, the memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf.

“Scotland, in common with so many other nations, suffered an appalling loss of life in the Great War, and its effects on Scottish life were profound and long-lasting. Not one single community was untouched by the conflict, and rural Scotland suffered particularly severe losses.

“On Friday, I announced the latest funding from our £1 million Centenary Memorials Restoration Fund, set up to restore lasting tributes to fallen servicemen and women. It is hugely important that these memorials are properly maintained. We owe it to the names inscribed on these memorials as well as to their living relatives to keep monuments in a proud condition, reflecting the respect they deserve.

“It takes an incomparable event to bring a whole nation to a halt – united in remembrance, reflection and gratitude – and there is no more profound an event than a conflict that saw over a hundred thousand sons, fathers, uncles never return from the front line. Today we stand with members of the German Navy to remember and pay tribute to the fallen; a true symbol that in conflict there is always the resounding hope for peace and reconciliation.”

poppies Princes Street Gardens

Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael will also attend the Edinburgh ceremony.

He said: “In cities, town squares, villages and communities across Scotland, people will pause for thought and remember those who have fallen serving their country with honour and distinction.

“This year’s Remembrance Sunday service has particular significance in a year when Scotland has been front and centre of the commemorations to mark 100 years since Britain entered World War One and 60 years since we stood shoulder to shoulder with our allies on the beaches of Normandy.”

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