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Scotland: hundreds attend ecumenical service for fallen soldiers

Our Lady of Good Aid

Our Lady of Good Aid

More than 800 people gathered for an Ecumenical Service of Remembrance for members of the Armed Forces killed and injured in the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, held in Our Lady of Good Aid Cathedral in Motherwell, Lanarkshire  this evening, 29 October.

Bishop Joseph Devine lead the service with the Reverend Dr John McPake, Moderator of the Hamilton Presbytery of the Church of Scotland and the very Reverend Dr Gregor Duncan, Primus Commissary of the Scottish Episcopal Church. Muslim and Jewish faith leaders were also in attendance.

A total of 39 Scottish servicemen have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. Local school children lit candles in memory of those who have lost their lives or suffered injuries.

The service was organised by Bishop Devine. Speaking before the service said he wanted to honour those who had "paid the ultimate price" in the conflicts.

"Whatever one may think of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the soldiers are not responsible for the decisions made to go to war. .. Sadly, however,  the young servicemen and women are paying the ultimate price for our engagement in those countries. Their families and friends also have to bear a terrible suffering.

"As I watch the news and witness the heart-breaking procession of coffins returning to the UK, I wonder what I can do to help alleviate the suffering of so many, including those soldiers who are and will remain cruelly wounded in body and mind.

"Our ecumenical service of commemoration will endeavour to make this occasion an honourable and fitting tribute for the fallen and a comfort and blessing for the wounded and their families".