Remembrance Day needs to be re-imagined in more hopeful, truthful, meaningful and inclusive ways for future generations, says this report commissioned by Ekklesia. That would include an honest if painful acknowledgement that some do “die in vain”, an end to “selective remembrance”, a positive stress on peacemaking, and making Armistice Day a public holiday. The report, originally published in 2009, followed 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 governments' inadequate care for war veterans, but also -- vitally -- the lack of serious 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 positively developed. It also includes reflection on the meaning and practice of 'memory', not least from a Christian theological standpoint.
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