The Armed Forces Day 'family fun' extravaganza in Colwyn Bay's Parc Eirias went ahead on Saturday in intermittent drizzle and behind a prominent banner near the main gate stating what you'd have thought would be bleedin' obvious, but apparently to many punters wasn't: 'WAR IS NOT FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT'. As you'd expect of any attempt to disguise the brutal reality of war as fun and games, the event was at best conflicted and contradictory, at worst downright dishonest. With the stated aim of "recognising and honouring our armed forces and veterans" AFD is designed to leave no space open to question the legality or morality of the wars they've been off fighting in recent years, to ask whether warfare offers any real solutions for the problems we face, nor indeed to consider whether our various wars of aggression might conceivably be an aggravating factor in these problems.
In the end it was down to a handful of protesters to pitch up and create this space, right by the main entrance, and to break the illusion that everything in the military garden is rosy.
This event was held a week before official Armed Forces Day on 27 June. There's time to organise a presence at an AFD event in your area and it's well worth doing, however small. Even one person standing vigil at the gate can have a big impact.
On Saturday 25 April, over 50 people came together in Llangollen, Wales, on the centenary of the first Gallipoli landings to celebrate the very long life of Elisabeth (Lib) Rowlands-Hughes, born at the end of WWI into a family missing most of its young men.
Lib firmly believed that the lesson of WWI, a war which claimed the lives of four of her uncles, should be NEVER AGAIN. As an early member of the Peace Pledge Union, Lib made the following vow:
I renounce war, and am therefore determined not to support any kind of war. I am also determined to work for the removal of all causes of warand this is what she did for the rest of her life.
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