Today is a special day, but also a hard day for me.
I come from a military family. I am also half Scots and half German.
So today my thoughts are with all those who lost their lives.
I am very proud of the Scottish National War Memorial within Edinburgh Castle. At the top of Castle Rock stands a building much resembling a church.
This building has two rooms, and as you enter you look across the width of the first room to the gates of Room 2.
Within Room 2 stands a green marble pillar upon which sits a lead chest containing the rolls of honour for the 134,712 men and women who gave their lives in the Great War.
This pillar, which stands below a huge cross, sits at the highest point of Castle Rock to show our great respect and honour for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their nation : their lives.
The C-shaped ‘Room 1’ contains alcoves, naming Regiments, Navy and Air Force.
Each alcove has a shelf or table containing two books. The first book is labelled 1914 -1918, the second labelled 1939 -1945. If you look at the back of the second book you will find the names of those who fell in the Falklands, Iraq & Afghanistan.
A truly fitting memorial to our families and our national heritage.
I am unsure if this record holds the names of those who fought in the International brigades in Spain, but I would hope so.
Personally I detest and abhor violence, but I also believe that sometimes it is the only answer.
Today I also remember other heroes:-
Robert Owen, 17 Nov 1858.
Mohandas Karamchand “Mahatma Gandhi”, 30 Jan 1948.
Steve Biko, 12th Sept 1977.
Fernando Pereira, 10 July 1985.
Francisco Alves “Chico Mendez” Filho, 22 Dec 1988.