Scotland marks Presidents' Day - Angus Robertson

On Christmas Day 2021, the President of the White House Historical Association, Stewart McLaurin, visited the statue of Abraham Lincoln in Edinburgh’s Calton Burial Ground.
Consulate General Jack HillmeyerConsulate General Jack Hillmeyer
Consulate General Jack Hillmeyer

An idea was formed – to create the first official Presidents’ Day ceremony to take place outside the United States. It seemed apt, he thought, to have the first ceremony at the place where the first statue in Europe of President Lincoln stood, which is a memorial to the Scots who fought in the US Civil War.

It also had a special affinity with Stewart, a proud Global Scot and member of Clan MacLaren. This is the third Presidents’ Day celebration and, hosted by US Consulate in Edinburgh and supported by the White House Historical Association, the tradition is now replicated in 19 capitals around the world.

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As always it was a privilege to address the gathering and participate in the wreath-laying ceremony representing the Scottish Government, alongside US Consul General Jack Hillmeyer, Lord Provost Robert Aldridge, and Amy McNeese-Mechan, the US-born Leith Walk Councillor and Baillie.

Special mention to Jack Hillmeyer, for whom this will be the last Presidents’ Day event he attends in Scotland as Consul General, as he takes up his next diplomatic post later in the year.

The relationship between the United States is a long and deep one – one-third of the signatories of the Declaration of Independence were of Scottish Heritage. Since then, innumerable links have been created via commerce, culture, family and heritage, education and many more. Long may they continue.