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18 November 2022    |    General

YMCA Scotland Attends Remembrance Services in London and Edinburgh

Remembrance Service, London

YMCA Scotland Attends Remembrance Services in London and Edinburgh

YMCA joined veterans and current service members of the Armed Forces at the Remembrance Sunday Parade in London and the Remembrance Service at Edinburgh City Chambers and St Giles’ Cathedral.


Laying down the wreath in London on behalf of YMCA was Mike Will, President of YMCA Scotland and Past-President of YMCA Europe.


Kerry Reilly, CEO of YMCA Scotland layed down the wreath in Edinburgh.


We were joined by colleagues from YMCA England & WalesYMCA St Paul’s Group, and YMCA East Surrey as well as young people.

You can hear from two young people’s perespectives on the services, which they attended with YMCA Scotland.

Andrew Will MSYP

His thoughts on the day

Also attending the Remembrance Sunday Service was our Member of Scottish Youth Parliament, Andrew Will.

“This Sunday, I was grateful for the opportunity to participate in the annual remembrance parade in London through YMCA.
It was a historic day as it marked HM King Charles III first Remembrance Sunday but more importantly, the parade remembered all those who fought and died in wars to maintain peace and democracy across the world.
No words can match the gratitude billions feel across the world for each life lost and impacted by wars that shaped history. Even though it was a sad and somber occasion, you could sense the overwhelming gratefulness possessed by each and every attendee.
Even though this years remembrance day has passed, we must all continue to thank and remember every life that was lost, as the world would have looked a lot different without each of their efforts to fight against evil and defend the rights of every human.
Therefore, I believe it is only fitting to say Thank-you to everyone who served or serves in the army and who protected or promotes peace internationally for young people and future generations to experience.”

Adam Mills

Adam, aged 21 was attending with YMCA Scotland

“I was honoured to be invited to attend. I was amazed at the total 2 minute silence in a massive crowd in a big city and could hear only the sound of seagulls as I closed my eyes and thought of all those who never returned from all the wars.
As we were one of the last groups to march I was surprised but happy that almost all the crowd stayed and cheered us too”

Did You Know?

YMCA's own Moina Michael is responsible for the Poppy?

John McCrae, a doctor serving with the Canadian Army, was so moved by what he saw, he wrote the poem In Flanders’ Fields, in which he describes how the poppies grew in between the crosses marking soldiers’ graves.

American professor Moina Michael had been working at the YMCA Overseas War Secretaries Office in New York when she came across John McCrae’s poem, and was so deeply moved that she vowed to wear a poppy as a sign that the dead would not be forgotten.

In November 1918, Michael turned up to the YMCA Overseas War conference wearing a silk poppy pinned to her coat, giving out an additional 25 to her colleagues, which she had purchased using money she had earned for her work for the YMCA.

The delegates attending the YMCA conference followed suit, taking the poppy home to their relative countries and campaigning for it to become a recognised symbol of remembrance.

Just a few years later they succeeded, and the first official Poppy Day was held in Britain on November 11, 1921.

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