In this report, the think-tank Ekklesia, argue that Remembrance Day needs to be re-imagined to make it more inclusive, more truthful and more meaningful for future generations, says this report. This would include an honest acknowledgement that some did “die in vain”, an end to “selective remembrance”, a positive stress on peacemaking, and making Armistice Day a bank holiday.
The report follows the death of the ‘last Tommy’, Harry Patch from World War 1, who sadly described current patterns of Remembrance Day as “just show business”. Remembrance has been ‘cheapened’ by a failure to back up words with action, particularly when it comes to successive Government’s care for war veterans, but also the lack of resources put into peacebuilding.
The report traces the development of Britain’s remembrance tradition and makes a series of proposals about how Remembrance Day might be updated and made more accessible. It also includes reflection on the meaning and practice of ‘memory’, not least from a Christian theological standpoint.