8 Nov 2009

In Remembrance

It is Remembrance Day Sunday. For me the minute of silence that is held to mark the eleventh hour always seems to lap over the sides of the moment and blanket my entire day with a sense of quiet gratitude.

In Scotland there are many opportunities to visit monuments and sculptures dedicated to the men and women who sacrificed their lives in battle for their country. Even as I write “sacrificed their lives” I feel lazy, using a borrowed phrase because I cannot think of anything else to describe these people, many of whom are frozen forever in their youth.

The Scottish National War Memorial is located in Edinburgh Castle and while most people see it during their visit to the castle, the memorial itself is free. If all you want to do is to visit the memorial, simply ask at the ticket desk and you will be taken through to see it.

The following are a few of my favourite monuments from around Scotland, perfect for helping to still your mind and find a new sense of perspective.

The Royal Scots Grey Memorial, just off of Princes Street in Edinburgh:

In a remarkable spot overlooking rolling green hills near Stirling, the monument dedicated to Sir David Stirling, founder of the Special Air Service and, later in life, the Capricorn Africa Society:

The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) War Memorial in Kelvingrove Park in Glasgow:

And possibly the most dramatic, the Commando Monument near Spean Bridge in the highlands. The memorial sits high above the rugged landscape where members of this elite force trained during WWII.

For those with British ancestors, there was good news this past week as the WWI army service records of more than two million British soldiers have been made available online. You can find this and much more at the Military Records section of ancestry.co.uk

Many events will be taking place on 11 November itself, and no doubt the silence will once again pervade my day. I will take the opportunity on Wednesday to announce my giveaway for the month of November, although it will be more like 50 per cent gift giving, 50 per cent asking a favour. It will all make sense - I promise.

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