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REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY

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 devastated.

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 ahead of us, 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, as at Passchendaele. We must extend and enforce 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 listed below may help.

Robert A. Hinde
Former pilot, Coastal Command, RAF 1941-45


The following are available on the MAW website (http://www.abolish war.org.uk):
Remember War, Make Peace, book and CD £10
Remembrance for Today, booklet £3
Ending War: A Recipe, booklet £4
The Final Surrender: Time to abolish war, booklet 50p
A World without War (Rotblat) 30p

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