Remembrance Sunday: First Minister to lead national tribute to Scotland's war dead with two minute silence

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is to lay a wreath at the Scottish National War Memorial at Edinburgh Castle to mark Remembrance Sunday.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon urged people to mark Remembrance Sunday in their own homes this year as Legion Scotland called on communities to take to their doorsteps to observe the two-minute silence at 11am.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon urged people to mark Remembrance Sunday in their own homes this year as Legion Scotland called on communities to take to their doorsteps to observe the two-minute silence at 11am.

Ms Sturgeon is also set to give a reading during the National Service of Remembrance – which will be closed to the public due to Covid-19 restrictions.

She urged people to mark the occasion in their own homes this year as Legion Scotland called on communities to take to their doorsteps to observe the two-minute silence at 11am.

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The First Minister said the coronavirus pandemic meant more traditional commemorations cannot take place, with outdoor events currently banned across much of Scotland.

Traditional remembrance ceremonies, with marches and wreath-laying, are not allowed in areas classed as Level 2, 3 or 4 under Scotland’s system of Covid-19 restrictions and councils have been given updated advice to make that clear.

Ms Sturgeon said: “Remembrance Sunday is an opportunity for all of us to take time to commemorate those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

“It allows us a chance to honour the memory of those who gave their lives in the two world wars and other conflicts while also paying tribute to our veterans and those who continue to serve today.

“Commemorations this year have had to be marked differently because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and we understand it will be disappointing to many people that national services will not be open to the public.

“I am privileged to be able to lay a wreath today on behalf of the people of Scotland.”

Scotland Office minister David Duguid will represent the UK Government at the service, which Legion Scotland Poppyscotland will broadcast live on Facebook.

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack will make private visits to place wreaths at war memorials in his Dumfries and Galloway constituency.

He said: “Remembrance Sunday holds a special place in our hearts and in our national life.

“This year’s Remembrance Sunday will feel very different, with the Covid-19 pandemic meaning that we will be unable to gather together to remember as we traditionally do.

“But we must not let these essential restrictions stand in the way of us paying our respects.

“I know people in Scotland, as they will across the UK, will still take the time to think, to reflect, and to give private thanks to all those who have served and fallen.

“We will, individually, take a moment to recognise the sacrifice of all those who have given their lives protecting our country.

“Even in these difficult and unprecedented times, we will remember them.”

Dr Claire Armstrong, chief executive of Legion Scotland, said: “Coronavirus must not cancel remembrance, but public safety is paramount.

“We are calling on everyone to take to their doorsteps at 11am on Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day to observe the two-minute silence.

“We must be united in spirit, if not in person, to ensure that we pay our respects to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.”

Standing on the doorstep of his home in Edinburgh, veteran Ronnie Wilson, who served with the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders in Korea and Aden, said: “Remembrance means everything to me. The poppy represents the lads that have died in all wars and the respect that I have for that.”

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