Crowds pay tribute to heroes on Armed Forces Day

Five-year-old Jamie Watt stands to attention. Picture: Toby Williams
Five-year-old Jamie Watt stands to attention. Picture: Toby Williams
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Parades, military displays and civic receptions were held to mark Armed Forces Day.

Large crowds turned out as service personnel, veterans and cadets led parades in Edinburgh, as well as Glasgow and other parts of Scotland.

Cavalry soldiers in period costume mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. Picture: Toby Williams

Cavalry soldiers in period costume mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. Picture: Toby Williams

Armed Forces Day was established in 2009 to honour the country’s servicemen and women and their families across the army, navy and 
RAF.

Its aim is to enable the public to demonstrate their support and appreciation for all those who serve and have served in the forces.

Hundreds of service personnel, veterans and cadets also paraded in the Capital before other Armed Forces Day events which took place in the Grassmarket.

The 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo was marked, with the Duke of Kent taking a salute outside the City Chambers.

Members of Royal Scots share a selfie. Picture: Toby Williams

Members of Royal Scots share a selfie. Picture: Toby Williams

Brigadier Paul Harkness, Commander of 51 Infantry Brigade, said: “On behalf of all army personnel serving in Scotland I would like to thank the people of Scotland for their ongoing support to both our serving and veterans communities.

“For those of us who are serving it is an honour to be able to defend and protect the freedoms that we enjoy as a country and provide the peace and security that underwrites our way of life.

“Today, soldiers based in Scotland are deployed around the world; from the Falkland Islands to Africa, in Cyprus as part of the United Nations’ Peacekeeping Force and across the Middle East, they serve with pride and in the sure knowledge that they do so with your support.

“Having the country’s support makes serving away from home in areas affected by trouble that much easier to endure. Thank you for all that you do to support those who have dedicated their life to defend you.”

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the day offered the chance to thank the forces for their “professionalism and sacrifices”.

Ms Sturgeon was in Glasgow for the occasion, joining Lord Provost Sadie Docherty, in her role as Lord Lieutenant, to lead the city’s celebrations in George Square and take the salute at the march-past at the Cenotaph.

The First Minister said: “It is an opportunity to thank them for their professionalism and sacrifices and for the selfless service overseas and at home that helps to preserve the democratic freedoms we are privileged to enjoy today.”

Other events were staged in locations including Aberdeen, Stranraer, Paisley, Inverness and Dundee.