To all who are planning or will be attending a Remembrance Sunday event on November 11th
Letter from Robert A. Hinde, former pilot,
Coastal Command, RAF 1941-45
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.
In World War II my brother died, slowly and painfully of wounds, exposure and dehydration in a ship’s lifeboat. My boyhood friend, an RAF navigator, is buried in Germany.
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 destroyed.
Remembering is not enough. The best way to honour the dead is to work for the world they wanted, a world without war. We must learn to settle our differences by negotiation and to see violence as very much a last resort. We must not shake our heads in the belief that war will always be with us: we have a difficult task, but change is possible.
War is almost unthinkable in western Europe, and we are moving 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 by the guns at Passchendaele.
We must reinforce such change in moral values and ensure that it extends to all those who control our fate. Let us use Remembrance to further these aims. If you are planning an event or service, some of the publications below may help.
Robert A. Hinde
President: Professor Robert Hinde
Vice Presidents: Colin Archer, Martin Bell OBE, Christine Blower, Bruce Kent
‘War must cease to be an admissible human institution. The abolition of war must be our ultimate goal.'
By ordering and distributing these materials you can help to spread the message that war is not inevitable.
War No More film and discussion outlines
Excellent 14-minute film featuring Professor Rotblat, Bishop Tutu, Bruce Kent, Jon Snow, Caroline Lucas, Martin Bell and others. Ideal for classrooms and groups, comes with 32-page booklet of discussion starters by Valerie Flessati. 1500 copies already distributed.
Booklet and DVD or video (Please specify) £8.
Remember War, Make Peace
Services, reflections, prayers, etc for Remembrance Sunday, with a global perspective. Evolved from MAW’s ‘Remembrance for Today’ (see below) with two new complete services, children’s songs and free CD of backing tracks. 116 pages.
Book and CD £10.
Remembrance for Today
Readings, reflections, prayers, hymns and other resources, both religious and secular, to help turn Remembrance Sunday into an event which points towards the elimination of future wars.
40 pages, 2007 Booklet £3.
Ending War: A recipe
By Robert Hinde, MAW’s president. Abolition of war needs action; everyone can do something to hasten the day when war will be seen as an unacceptable way of settling disputes. The time to stop the next war is now!
48 pages, 2008. Booklet £4.
The Final Surrender: Time to Abolish War
Mini-booklet – ideal for handing out at meetings or in schools. Collection of quotations from various times, places and people, about eliminating war.
20 pages A6 booklet 50p.
To order any of the above items please send your request with cheque made out to MAW (plus 20% postage) to MAW Orders, 1 Thesiger Rd, Abingdon OX14 2DY.