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Lord Provost

Remembering the ties that bond America and Scotland

Following straight on from Jutland it was time once again for the annual Scottish American Memorial Day Service at ‘The Call’ in Princes Street Gardens, held by the English Speaking Union.

Held almost every year since 1932, this memorial service commemorates the close ties of friendship between the people of Scotland and the United States forged in peace and war.

On Monday I attended as the representative of Scotland’s capital city alongside representatives from the US Government, Scottish Government, US Armed Forces, British Armed Forces, Royal British Legion and ESU Scotland.

Here, I laid a wreath on behalf of the City of Edinburgh at the foot of The Call, a striking statue given by Scottish-Americans in honour of the Scots who served in the First World War.

It shows a seated kilted shoulder with a rifle resting on his knees as he looks towards the castle. Behind him a bronze bas-relief depicts 'the call to arms', with a cross-section of Scottish working men - miners, shepherds, gamekeepers, farmers and fishermen - being led off to war by a regimental pipe and drum band. 

The plinth, which is a poignant reminder of lives lost, reads:  THE CALL 1914. A Tribute From Men and Women of Scottish Blood and Sympathies In the United States of AMERICA TO SCOTLAND. A People that jeoparded their lives unto the Death in the High Places of the Field.