By a Newsnet reporter
The Scottish Government has welcomed news that Stirling will hold the 2014 Armed Forces Day.
Veterans Minister Keith Brown said he was “delighted” that the event, which was held in Edinburgh in 2011, was returning to Scotland.
Responding to the news, the SNP MSP recalled the Edinburgh event, saying:
“That was a magnificent event and this gives a further opportunity for people across Scotland to show how much they support and appreciate the selfless service of our servicemen and women.
“The Scottish Government has demonstrated its full commitment to supporting the Armed Forces community in Scotland.
“Our policies and initiatives have made a real difference and our approach has been warmly welcomed and acknowledged as being ‘ahead of the game’ in comparison to the rest of the UK administrations by Veterans Scotland and the military in Scotland.”
However the announcement was tempered by the news the UK coalition intends to politicise the event in an effort at boosting support for the Union.
Mr Brown said he was not concerned about the UK coalition’s plans to use the event for political ends saying there was “no patience” amongst the electorate for those who used the military in this way.
UK Defence Secretary Philip Hammond claimed the parades would serve as a reminder of the UK’s military power: “They remind us in a very graphic way that we are stronger together.
“Britain, the United Kingdom and Scotland benefit from the scale and the power and the capability of our armed forces.”
The parades are planned to be held in June and it is believed Stirling was chosen in an attempt at dampening the feelings of sentiment and patriotism that will surround the marking of the 700th anniversary of the battle of Bannockburn, which is also being held in the city that month.
The independence referendum will be held three months later which will ask the Scottish electorate: “Should Scotland be an independent country?”
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