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Poignant tributes to war dead as Scotland falls silent 

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon laid a wreath during the event in Edinburgh.

Remembrance: First Minister Nicola Sturgeon lays a wreath in Edinburgh.
Remembrance: First Minister Nicola Sturgeon lays a wreath in Edinburgh. Poppy Scotland

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Scots owe fallen soldiers an "enormous debt of gratitude".

Ms Sturgeon was speaking as she joined Edinburgh Lord Provost Frank Ross, fellow politicians and members of the Armed Forces community for a moving Remembrance Sunday service.

More than 100 wreaths were laid during the service, organised by Legion Scotland at the City Chambers in Edinburgh to remember those who never came home.

Sir Alistair Irwin KCB CBE, the President of Legion Scotland and Poppyscotland, read Binyon's Lines after the bugler had played the Last Post.

Ms Sturgeon said: "Remembrance Sunday is always a poignant occasion.

"It's an opportunity for all of us individually and collectively to pay our respects to those who have fought in our armed forces, our veterans, and those who currently serve in our armed forces to keep the whole world safe.

"We owe them an enormous debt of gratitude.

"Today is a moment to remember the sacrifices that have been made.

"At the moment as we do commemorate the centenary of the First World War battles this occasion is all the more important, significant and poignant for many, but we have lost people in wars since the First World War.

"There are those in our armed forces today who are still putting themselves in the line of duty so we must remember them and pay respect and remember with gratitude those who have sacrificed so much in the past."

Remembrance: Past and present members of the armed forces paid a poignant tribute to the fallen.
Remembrance: Past and present members of the armed forces paid a poignant tribute to the fallen. Poppy Scotland

One of the wreath-layers attending the service was Anne Blair, 74, whose husband Lieutenant-Colonel David Blair was killed along with 17 other soldiers when the IRA blew up an army convoy in August 1979.

At the time of his death, Lt Col Blair was commanding officer of the 1st Battalion, The Queen's Own Highlanders, at Warrenpoint, Northern Ireland.

The attack on his battalion took place just hours after The Queen's cousin, Lord Mountbatten, was killed.

Mrs Blair, who lives in Edinburgh, said: "It is a terrific honour for me to have been asked to lay a wreath on behalf of the War Widows Association of Great Britain.

"I was hugely honoured to do it on what is a great occasion."

Mrs Blair, who was just 36 when her husband was murdered, added: "I support Poppyscotland like mad and I have an enormous poppy on my car.

"In fact, it's too large to take off, so I leave it on all year round!

"Once a year, I visit the Lady Haig Poppy Factory and I am given three crosses which I place on my husband's grave."

Remembrance: Serving soldiers honoured those who lost their lives in conflict.
Remembrance: Serving soldiers honoured those who lost their lives in conflict. Poppy Scotland

Alan Colley, Treasurer of the Boys' Brigade Edinburgh, Leith & District Battalion, which served as wreath-bearers for the Lord Provost's party, said: "The Battalion is privileged this year to again be part of the Legion Scotland service.

"The Boys' Brigade Battalion in Edinburgh - now Edinburgh, Leith & District Batt - was very involved in both the First and Second World Wars, as were other battalions throughout Scotland, and they were always to the fore in helping in so many ways at home while so many were away fighting for their country."

Elsewhere, Veterans Minister Keith Brown laid a wreath on behalf of the people of Scotland at the cenotaph at Puller Memorial Park at the Bridge of Allan Remembrance Service.

Meanwhile, a two-minute silence was held at a service at the cenotaph in George Square, Glasgow led by the city's Lord Provost, Eva Bolander and attended by Deputy First Minister John Swinney.

Ms Bolander said: "Remembrance Sunday is a day for reflection and gratitude for those who gave their lives in conflict to preserve our freedoms.

"Glasgow owes its military and veterans a great debt.

"We are proud to remember those who fell and to support our serving military."

Later on Sunday, veteran and serving Commandos gathered for a service at Spean Bridge's Commando Memorial near Fort William.

Army, Royal Marine Commandos and special units from all forces were represented at the service, which followed a parade through Fort William.

The memorial is in tribute to marines who trained in the area during the Second World War.

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