Remembrance Sunday brings nations together to honour war dead – Angus Robertson MSP
Scotland’s national commemorative act for Remembrance Sunday was a moving experience at the memorial in front of Edinburgh City Chambers.
Leaders from national and civic life, the armed forces, veterans, consular and other organisations took part in the event together with a large public attendance.
Having laid the wreath at the London Cenotaph for the SNP throughout a decade at Westminster, it was as moving to take part for the first time in Edinburgh as the local MSP for Edinburgh Central.
It was particularly noteworthy commemoration because of the participation of 101-year-old World War Two veteran Jack Ransom.
It was the first time that Ireland officially took part in the commemoration ceremony, with Consul General Jane McCulloch laying a laurel wreath at the Edinburgh memorial stone.
More than 200,000 Irish men fought during World War One, with 30,000 dying in the service of Irish regiments, with more serving in mainland British units. It is thought that nearly 50,000 Irishmen died in the Great War, which began when Ireland was still part of the United Kingdom.
Ever since the Queen’s historic 2011 visit to the Republic of Ireland, which included laying a wreath at the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin, symbolic acts of commemoration have become regular and hugely welcome.
On Remembrance Sunday 2012, the then Taoiseach Enda Kenny laid a wreath at the Enniskillen war memorial in Northern Ireland. That tradition was continued on Sunday when the present Taoiseach Michaél Martin laid a wreath.
It is hugely welcome that all of the dead and injured from conflict are remembered.