- News Brief
- Research & Policy
- Culture and Review
- Media Centre
Reach tens of thousands of people instantly by advertising with Ekklesia. Find out more
Saturday 27 June 2009 is Britain's first Armed Forces Day, which is intended to become an annual celebration.
The stated purpose of the day is to bridge a growing gulf between the armed forces and the general public and encourage support and respect for soldiers.
Others have highlighted a political motivation, to raise support for the Government's military actions, which, in recent years, have been extremely controversial.
Armed Forces Day is one part of a wider movement to expand the reach of the army, including the recruitment of more cadets. This would involve training primary school-aged children to use weapons.
Many also view this event as another effort on the part of the Government to feign a genuine commitment to looking after soldiers and veterans. The reality critics point out is that those returning from war often find little useful or real help in re-integrating into society. As one Times reader put it, “Is a militarised society, where politicians exploit the private losses of citizens for political ends, the kind of Britain we want?”
Many churches will feel that a celebration of the armed forces in this way is not appropriate. Many will feel that there are better ways of showing love and care for soldiers. In response, Ekklesia has developed a page of resources to help churches and others engage with Armed Forces Day in a way that more accurately reflects their beliefs.
You can access it here: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/resources/armed_forces_dayTweet