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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 June 2006, 16:59 GMT 17:59 UK
Minister pays tribute to veterans
Adam Ingram
Mr Ingram said it was important to remember the veterans' stories
Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram has been spending the day with veterans to thank them for their service.

Mr Ingram joined 100 veterans from East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow, at the Royal British Legion club in East Kilbride, to mark UK Veterans Day.

Guest of honour was retired Lieutenant General Sir Alastair Irwin.

Mr Ingram said: "It can be truly humbling to be in a room with so many men and women, who have served their country with such bravery and loyalty."

Many of the veterans served during World War II, or did National Service in the years afterwards.

They were presented with official veterans' badges.

Today is about paying tribute to our veterans - old and young - and remembering what they have done for us all
Adam Ingram
Armed Forces Minister

Other guests included members of the Royal Navy, British Army, Royal Air Force, armed forces reserves and cadets, members of Scottish veterans associations and representatives from the defence industry.

Mr Ingram praised the veterans' dedication and said: "Their stories are varied and fascinating, and it's vital that we continue to pass them down through the generations, so they can be remembered and commemorated for many years to come.

"Today is about paying tribute to our veterans - old and young - and remembering what they have done for us all.

"But their fortitude does continue on, into the modern day armed forces, and I know that many of the veterans have provided inspiration to our service personnel as they carry out challenging tasks at home and overseas."

Wounded soldiers

A number of events are taking place in communities throughout Scotland all week to commemorate Veterans Day, culminating in a national parade and wreath laying ceremony in Dundee on Saturday.

Meanwhile, a number of high-profile figures have sent letters of congratulations to Erskine, formerly known as Erskine Hospital, which cares for ex-servicemen and women and is celebrating its 90th year.

They include the speaker of the House of Commons, the moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Britain's Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks and Scotland's Cardinal Keith O'Brien, whose father was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for his role in World War II Russian convoys.

Cardinal Keith O'Brien
Cardinal Keith O'Brien sent his congratulations to Erskine

Erskine, at Bishopton, near Glasgow, was founded in 1916 to take in maimed and wounded soldiers from the battlefields of Europe during World War I.

Since then it has cared for more than 70,000 ex-service personnel and has homes in Erskine town and Edinburgh. A home is also being built in Anniesland.

Speaker Michael Martin, who is also MP for Glasgow North East, wrote: "I send my congratulations, and that of the House of Commons, to all who live and work at the hospital or give support in some way.

"What has been done in 90 years is truly magnificent."

The moderator, the Right Reverend Alan McDonald, wrote: "The immensely caring and vastly experienced staff at Erskine, as well as the selfless staff who support them, are to be warmly commended."

Colonel Martin Gibson, Erskine's chief executive, said: "These messages so vividly confirm that Erskine is recognised far beyond the Scottish border for the incomparable work it has been doing in caring for ex-service men and women for nine decades."




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