Comment: We must not shirk from the truth of war

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THE world has rarely felt so torn and so violent. Civil war in eastern Ukraine which led to the deaths of hundreds after the shooting down of a civilian airline; a conflict in the Middle East which appears as far from resolution as ever. While in Iraq the United States is exploring options to evacuate thousands of civilians trapped on a mountain in northern Iraq by Islamic militants.

All of this was very much at the forefront of many minds yesterday as veterans, servicemen and women and relatives of heroes of the First World War stood in the rain at the Drumhead service at Edinburgh Castle to honour those who fought in the conflict.

One hundred years have passed since the start of the First World War, but how much have we learned when basic human rights are violated and innocent people threatened with slaughter on a daily basis?

The 145,000 Scots who perished between 1914-18 must stand as a reminder of the futility of war and the huge price that families pay for it.

We must never forget them and use every one of those deaths as a lesson to our children.

Compassion, justice and tolerance must be preached on a daily basis, while we must not shirk from telling the horrible truth about the reality of war.

Richard’s in tune

Our politicians are often criticised for being out of touch with the people whose decisions their lives affect.

So credit to Edinburgh councillor Richard Lewis, who is showing he is in tune with his brief as the Capital’s culture and sport 
convener. A talented musician, Richard is playing the piano in a show at the Fringe – and pretty good we hear it is too.

What better way to immerse yourself in the Capital’s cultural life than entertaining the punters yourself as part of the greatest arts show on the planet.