Remembrance Sunday

First Minister to lay wreath at national service in Edinburgh.

The National Service of Remembrance to commemorate the sacrifices of the two World Wars and subsequent conflicts will go ahead, but will be closed to the public due to ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions.

The service has been significantly scaled back, in line with events across the country, to protect public safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, given that public gatherings are known to increase the spread of the virus.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will attend the service on Sunday 8 November at the Scottish National War Memorial at Edinburgh Castle to pay respects on behalf of the people of Scotland.

The First Minister will give a reading and lay a wreath alongside representatives of the Armed Forces and faith organisations.

Unfortunately, due to the restrictions to manage the pandemic, local remembrance events will not be able to proceed as they have in previous years.

Instead, those who want to honour the fallen are able to do so in the following ways:

  • joining the two-minute silence at 11.00 on Sunday 8 November from their doorstep as part of their community
  • by invite to a service at a place of worship with numbers strictly limited by organisers
  • giving to the Scottish Poppy Appeal to support the important work it does with the Armed Forces community across Scotland

Scottish Government buildings St Andrews House and Victoria Quay in Edinburgh will be floodlit red on Sunday 8 November in support of the Scottish Poppy Appeal.

Veterans Minister Graeme Dey said:

“Remembrance Sunday is an opportunity for people in Scotland to join with others across the world to commemorate the enormous sacrifices of the two World Wars and other conflicts, but the pandemic has made that much more difficult this year.

“We understand it will be disappointing to many people that national services will not be open to the public, however, due to the risk of public gatherings spreading the virus and endangering lives, we would encourage those who want to pay their respects to do so safely in other ways.

“It is vitally important that all of us abide by the restrictions to help save lives and protect the NHS as we are remembering the incredible sacrifice that so many have made.”

Dr Claire Armstrong, chief executive of Legion Scotland, said:

“It is deeply disappointing that remembrance events are being impacted in this way given their importance to so many people, but maintaining public safety is paramount.

"However, we can and must take time as a nation to observe the two-minute silence safely, and ensure we come together in spirit to pay our respects to those who made the ultimate sacrifice."


Updated COVID-19 guidance for Remembrance 2020 has now been issued to all local authorities.


Media enquiries

Back to top