Fringe Box



Opinion: Remembering War Dead Is Not Enough

Published on: 10 Nov, 2012
Updated on: 12 Nov, 2012

John Morris.

By John Morris

As Remembrance Sunday approaches, I feel more strongly than ever that the world is not as it should be. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Earth’s bounties are squandered and used to fill the pockets of the powerful. The so-called “war to end wars” was followed by another world war and by many localised ones, often characterised by unspeakable cruelty.

Our war memorials list those who “gave their lives”: it would be more honest to say they were killed. If wars continue, thousands more people will be killed or wounded. Families will be devastated.

Remembering is not enough. The best way to honour the dead is to work for – and vote for – the world they wanted, a world without war. Differences must be settled only by negotiation and the use of a full range of techniques of non-violence. Violence must never be seen as a last resort. We must not shake our heads in the belief that war will always be with us: we have a difficult task ahead of us, but change is possible.

War is almost unthinkable in Western Europe, and we are moving slowly but surely towards the goal of the United Nations “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war….”. An important element in this has been the increased value placed on human life: capital punishment has been eliminated in western Europe, and no western commander would now send battalion after battalion over the top to be slaughtered, as at Passchendaele. 

Let us use Remembrance time to further these aims.

A small group of peace activists from Guildford and the surrounding area will meet for a brief alternative remembrance event at the war memorial in the Castle Grounds at 10.30am on the morning of Sunday, November 11.  

The white poppy will be in evidence there, to remember all who have died or have been wounded, military and civilian, and are dying and being injured and traumatised as a result of war as well as committing ourselves to working for a culture of peace.

White poppies are available for sale at the Quaker Meeting House in Guildford or by phoning 0772 096 5577.

Share This Post

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *