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First Minister lays poppy wreath at Remembrance service

Nicola Sturgeon commemorated the fallen at the Stone of Remembrance in Edinburgh.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon lays wreath on Remembrance Sunday November 2019
STV

Scotland's First Minister has joined people across the country in paying tribute to those who lost their lives in armed conflict at a Remembrance Sunday service.

Nicola Sturgeon laid a poppy wreath at the Stone of Remembrance at Edinburgh City Chambers during the service to commemorate the fallen.

Lord Provost Frank Ross, Scottish Parliament presiding officer Ken Macintosh and Advocate General Lord Keen joined veterans, serving members of the armed forces and emergency services, and representatives from different faiths at the service which followed a two-minute silence at 11am.

Ms Sturgeon 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."

More than 90 wreaths were laid during the service organised by Legion Scotland and led by Reverend Calum MacLeod of St Giles' Cathedral, who read Binyon's Lines before hundreds of members of the public who gathered on the Royal Mile to pay their respects.

'This is an opportunity to give gratitude, to show our respect, and to send a message that that sacrifice will never be forgotten.'
Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister

RAF Sergeant Whitson Johnson, 95, who fought in Burma during the Second World War, attended from Portobello.

He said: "We must remember. Young people have to know what has happened in the past and realise what they are doing today was fought for.

"Mostly they do appreciate it and it's nice to see younger people learning about what happened."

Dr Claire Armstrong, chief executive of Legion Scotland, said people were as keen to be involved in remembrance events than ever before.

She said: "We had discussions last year about how remembrance would shape up once we finished the armistice for the First World War.

"We are in the shadow of that now, but the interest in remembrance has not waned one bit, if anything it's been a springboard to get more people involved and more people interested.

"The amount of people we have here today - almost 100 wreaths are being laid, the biggest number that we've had in recent years - is testament to that."

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