On Sunday I had the honour of attending the national service to mark 100 years of the First Armistice - the end of the First World War.

More than 1,000 people came together at Glasgow Cathedral for an incredibly poignant occasion - it was an opportunity to remember the many sacrifices made in conflict, to pay our heartfelt respect to those who have served in our armed forces and those who still do, to reflect on the feelings of those who lived through the First Armistice, and consider the lessons for our own generation.

It’s hard for us today to comprehend the intensity of emotions that would have been experienced in those earlier armistice days. Feelings of immense sadness but also enormous relief as the Great War was coming to an end; the joy of returning home with a sense of victory against the worst hardships; seeds of change in knowing life would never be the same again; and hope for a better future in uncertain times.

The sheer scale of suffering, death and destruction during and after the war is difficult for those of us alive today to even conceive of. The rolls of honour in the Scottish National War Memorial contain more than 134,000 names – these are the names, not just of members of the armed forces but also of nurses, munition workers, Merchant Navy sailors and many others. And, of course, every single name represents a son or daughter, sister or brother, lover, fiancée or spouse.

Huge numbers from the Clydeside workforce joined the armed forces. The city of Glasgow recruited 22,000 men for the army in the first week of the war alone.

Ultimately around 200,000 men from Glasgow enlisted, out of around 700,000 in total across Scotland.

The Scottish National War Memorial - which is situated at Edinburgh Castle - opened in 1927 but even today names from World War One are still being added by the trustees. It is difficult to say if we will ever know exactly how many lives were lost.

And, for those who returned home, the physical and psychological impact of war would weigh heavily on them throughout the rest of their lives.

Today, as living memories of service in World War One have passed, the duty on us to remember all those who contributed is ever more important.

That is why in 2013 the Scottish Government established the Scottish Commemorations Panel – a group of thirteen people with responsibility to recommend and deliver commemorations to mark the events and battles of World War One that have a particular significance for Scotland.

Chaired by The Reverend Professor Norman Drummond, the Panel has developed a wide programme of events across Scotland, from Dumfries to Orkney and Islay to Dundee, working with many partners including Royal British Legion Scotland, PoppyScotland and, of course, the armed services themselves.

Importantly, young people have been integral to the centenary commemorations - with nearly every secondary school in Scotland playing a part. I have met many school pupils, some of whom had relatives who served in World War One, who have developed a deep understanding of the conflict, not just at a community level, but an international one too. It’s clear that this involvement - and the research and learning that has gone with it - has provided an experience that will stay with them for years to come and allow them to pass on knowledge and understanding to the generation that comes after them.

In total, the Panel has overseen twelve national events across Scotland.

On New Year’s Day, I will attend the final WW100 commemorative event, which will take place on the Isle of Lewis.

It will mark one of the saddest events of World War One - the sinking of the HMY Iolaire off the coast of Stornoway. The ship was bringing men home from the war when it struck a reef and perished. More than 200 men who had survived the horrors of fighting on the frontline, drowned within sight of their homes. It was a truly tragic event and a heartbreaking reminder of the devastation and long-lasting impact World War One had on communities.

Of course, back then it was hoped that the Great War would be the war to end all wars.

David Lloyd George, the Prime Minister at the time, said on Armistice Day “I hope we may say that…this…morning, came to an end all wars”.

That hope has not yet been fulfilled. But we can and must still hope for a future free of armed conflict. There are still too many families in Scotland and around the world feeling the impact of war and suffering the loss of loved ones. We must all work to bring that to an end.

As we pay our respects and remember all those who died and contributed to the war effort, and as we give thanks to those who continue to serve today, we must once again resolve to do all we can to promote peace in the world. For that is the only real and meaningful tribute we can pay to those who gave their lives to secure for us the freedoms we enjoy today.