Rapprochement at Cove

Rapprochement at Cove

- 18/06/2019

On Saturday 11 May Mrs Janet Bowen, Lord-Lieutenant for Ross and Cromarty, Skye and Lochalsh was in attendance at Cove to lay a wreath on behalf of her Majesty the Queen at the annual (Summer) service of remembrance for those who lost their lives serving with the Arctic Convoys.

This year's ceremony was marked by the attendance for the first time of the Consul General of the German Republic, who laid his wreath with the Consul General of the Russian Federation, followed by their shaking hands before the memorial. This in turn was followed by their wives (and the daughter of the Russian Consul General) laying flowers.

Mrs Bowen spoke briefly, saying: The Second World War saw some remarkable campaigns and actions, and the story of the Russian Arctic Convoys stands among the very first echelon. Within the story of the Convoys are those of thousands of sailors who buckled down and did their job, whether as merchantman or escort, and we are very, very right to continue to remember and honour them, and to remember those who died.

We need to remember because they bought us the peace and the freedoms we enjoy, and it is in this context that I welcome the representatives of the Russian Federation and the Federal Republic of Germany. Consul General Andrey Pritsopov is well known to us, but it is a special privilege to welcome Consul General Jens-Peter Voss for the first time, we hope that it will be the first of many visits . Thank you both for your support it means a great deal.

And I would like to thank everyone who is here today, - for this local community, who have accepted this particular task of remembrance, and who have faithfully carried it out.
I ask you - indeed I charge you, to keep the flame burning brightly over the coming years and pass it on to the next generation.

For myself, I have been immensely proud to have been able to lead many acts of remembrance here as the personal representative of Her Majesty the Queen, who in turn represents us all. This is the last time I shall be here as Lord-Lieutenant: I stand down at the end of my term of office in a few weeks, but I shall return from time to time as a part of this community of remembrance.

So, here at the Arctic Convoy memorial, looking out over the sea to the Arctic and to Russia, we stand, in gratitude and unity . Let us learn from our mistakes.

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