REMEMBRANCE: Honour our troops by introducing ‘Poppy Day’ Bank Holiday

Old soldiers, Jimmy Gillies and ‘Batch’ Hannoway attend a Remembrance service at Levengrove alongside Labour councillors David McBride, John Millar and Martin Rooney. Picture by Bill Heaney

By Bill Heaney

Jamie Stone MP, the Lib Dem spokesperson for Defence at Westminster, has tabled an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons urging the Government to introduce ‘Poppy Day’.

The motion has the support of MPs from across the five largest parties: Conservative, Labour, Lib Dem, SNP and DUP.

The bank holiday would fall every year on the day after Remembrance Sunday. It would bring the UK in line with other countries such as the USA, France, and New Zealand, which all hold an annual public holiday to mark the sacrifice of their armed forces personnel.

Most famously, Veterans Day is a public holiday in the United States on 11 November every year. The same date is also a public holiday in France, commemorated as Armistice Day. Australia and New Zealand hold a public holiday on 25th April, Anzac Day, marking the role of service personnel.

West Dunbartonshire Council will be marking it with services across the council area on Sunday and a reception at Clydebank Town Hall which the SNP administration have restricted on an “invitation only” basis.

Jamie Stone MP, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Defence, commented: “Britain should follow the lead of those across the pond. When it comes to recognising the immense bravery of their troops with Veterans Day the UK should not hesitate to take a lesson from the USA.

“The sacrifice of service personnel, past and present, is something we would do well to commemorate even more so than we do already. Other countries do this with a bank holiday – I cannot see a reason why we shouldn’t do the same.

“A public holiday is a way to show national unity and to cement our traditions, and who better to hold one in honour of than our troops.  It’s time for Poppy Day. I hope the Government will introduce this post-haste.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said:  “Generations of Scots have served and sacrificed, working with our allies from across these islands, from the Commonwealth and around the world. Today our armed forces are at the forefront of humanitarian efforts and peacekeeping missions around the world.

“On November 11th every year we mark these efforts and the sacrifice of those who have died in service by laying wreaths and remembering.

“Making this day a public holiday would be a way to cement these traditions. I hope that Nicola Sturgeon will recognise that Poppy Day would be a fitting way to mark this sacrifice.”

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Artwork thanks to Ian Bruce


One comment

  1. A bit concerning to read today the allegation of two SNP MPs David Linden and Drew Hendry together with some Tories getting tanked up on the booze whilst flying to a Remembrance Day jolly in Gibraltar.

    Now I know that Tories are often guilty of going on the lash at public expense, but flying SNP MPs to one of Britain’s last colonies, to a British Military ceremony, and going on the lash with their Westminster drinking buddies, is not what you expect from SNP MPs.

    A swally to the dead. They’ve settled in not settled up.

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