Armed Forces Day 2022

Armed Forces Day 2022

Bury St Edmunds Quakers will hold an act of silent witness for peace on Armed Forces Day, Saturday 25 June. This will take place on the pedestrian area of Angel Hill from 11.00 to 11.30am.

We believe that showing our care for the men and women of the Armed Forces requires us to work for the peace which will keep them out of harm’s way.

For the first time in the lives of most of us, the reality and horror of armed conflict has been brought into our homes. The war in Ukraine is a daily reminder of the manner in which brutal force crushes other means of resolving conflict, tempting us to see a future depending on military power alone.

Now is the time to start thinking about a post-Putin Russia and a wiser future. Now is the time to acknowledge that war always represents, and grows from, an ongoing and cumulative failure of politics and diplomacy. Now is the time to reflect on the power of ‘unarmed forces’ — in peacekeeping, conflict prevention and resolution, in nation building and humanitarian relief, and to invest far more, both financially and morally, in these areas. Now is the time to examine our own thinking and that of our governments. We have no illusions as to how difficult this will be. But we believe it to be essential if this war on our continent is not to be the seed-bed of the next.

So, as we do every year, we hold before you the words of the American theologian, Stanley Hauerwas: “As long as it is assumed that war is always an available option, we will not be forced to imagine any alternative to war.”