Saturday, 28 June 2014

Armed Forces Day 2014

Today  28 June 2014, marks Armed Forces Day,  staged annually for the past  5 years  to pay tribute to UK Armed Forces personnel, past and present. Today 100 years after the assassination of Franz Ferdinand and the start of the Great war, and 70 years  from the D-Day Landings, this years event  comes with an even bigger  shadow.
In this age is  there really cause  in celebrating conflict, in an event of militaristic might, should we not be raising awareness of the destructiveness of war, and spend more time promoting peace .Why not call the day reconciliation day.
Recently the event has been criticised by Wrexham Peace and Justice Group, who were 'horrified'  to find a picture  of a toddler dressed in military uniform, being used to  advertise the event. They said ' We  strongly object to the targeting of children by the military' also saying ' we contend that it is irresponsible and unacceptable for Wrexham Council  to be presenting the militarised warfare  in the content of family entertainment.'
War is  not family entertainment, but the first casualty of war is truth. Today we should remember too people  like Chelsea Manning  who had the  courage to tell us the truth about war, and its collateral damage.
We should   remember the Great War, remember it not as a 'war to end all war' or a 'victory for democractic', but as a military disaster and a human  catastrophe. We should use this day to remember that war is driven by big powers and their vested interests around the globe, and remember the billions killed in war, the innocents across the globe,  left maimed and wounded,  mark the courage of those involved, but  acknowledge  the absolute  devastation and misery caused,and the harsh realities of actual life in the military, far from the rosy pictures painted. The brutal reality, is  that  for many, having been used by the military are  left  with mental health issues, and simply abandoned
To move forward  we should support  all those  traumatised and displaced by war, and seek ways to avoid conflict, and ways to promote international cooperation instead,focus on some positive steps to promote harmony in a badly trouble world, say no to the military complex that profits out of misery, pointing out the  horrible consequences of war.

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