15 August 2015
This morning the First Minister attended a service at Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh to pay tribute to those who served in the Far East during the Second World War.
The service, organised by Legion Scotland, commemorated the 70th anniversary of VJ Day, when victory was declared in the Pacific and the war finally ended.
Privileged to attend a very moving service in Canongate Kirk to commemorate #VJDay70
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) August 15, 2015
The First Minister said:
“Today’s commemorations are a moment to reflect on the huge sacrifices involved in the conflict in the Far East during World War Two. The war in the Pacific continued for several months after it ended in Europe, and that period saw some of the most harrowing episodes of the entire war.
“This anniversary is an opportunity for us to pay tribute to those surviving veteran and to remember the many who did not return home.
“The war in the Far East saw countless acts of selfless courage, many of which will never be known or told and today’s events are a chance to pay tribute to all those who served.”
The First Minister had the privilege to meet town veterans before heading into the service. Donald Christison, 89, was part of the crew of RMS Otranto that picked up prisoners after camps were liberated. Jim Richardson, 90, was captured at just 18 and held as a prisoner of war for over three years.
— First Minister (@ScotGovFM) August 15, 2015
The Rev Neil Gardner, minister of Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh and a former army chaplain, said:
“The special significance of VJ Day is that for these last months between victory in Europe and victory in the Far East, those who were still serving or imprisoned in the Far East felt forgotten and overlooked.
“This service is an opportunity to redress the balance and acknowledge what they suffered and give thanks for their service and sacrifice. In the Canongate Kirk our war memorial chapel contains a 21st century war memorial which came from Camp Bastion in Afghanistan so we are very conscious about the ongoing need to reflect and remember.”