We know that many Humanist groups will be laying wreaths to mark the sacrifice of our servicemen and women in the Armed Forces. At the last count, there were nearly 21,500 Service personnel registered as ‘of no religion’. Such a figure is pretty remarkable given the propensity for exclusively religious values that are so ingrained in military culture.
Although an increasing number of Humanist groups are laying wreaths now at local Remembrance ceremonies, Humanist representation has been barred from participating at the cenotaphs in London and Edinburgh (we are currently making enquiries about Cardiff and Belfast).
This is intolerable. Neither the bullet nor the bomb discriminates in this way, so it is quite inexplicable as to why our society does!
The United Kingdom Armed Forces Humanist Association (UKAFHA) is campaigning for the rights of all non-religious service personnel to be remembered for the sacrifices they make, and if your Group plans to lay a wreath as part of the Remembrance Day ceremonies in 2010, we ask you to include in your respects the following phrase in your wreath:
“…and also on behalf of the United Kingdom Armed Forces Humanist Association. For those who gave their lives for us. We will remember them”.
If you do decide to put this on your wreath, please advise UKAFHA’s ‘Humanist Chaplain,’ David Brittain, who can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org. He will place the name of your group in a ‘roll of Humanist solidarity’ with all those personnel in the Armed Forces who happen to be non-religious. The roll will be listed in UKAFHA’s November newsletter – which is sent to every member.
It will mean much to them, and will act as a reminder to all that the sacrifices Humanists make in the field of battle will be remembered too.
Visit UKAFHA’s website, on www.armedforceshumanists.org.uk
To find out more about laying a wreath on Remembrance Day, please visit www.britishlegion.org.uk/lmembership/counties for your local branch of the Royal British Legion.