Is this what we want for our sons and daughters ?

Saturday 1453 – 22nd Sept 2012.

Question at the end of this for you 🙂

Last week I gave you Defending the Dreamers of Peace and Compassion which you can read here . This Saturday has turned out to be a follow on though that was not what was planned.

I visited a 40’s re-enactment at Wimpole, a National Trust property . It’s a yearly extravaganza of people who love that period. They dress up and act out Dad’s Army type exploits complete with a Winston Churchill lookalike and lots of Ladies in authentic 40’s Fashion, men in suits and uniform ( and some women too), the Land Army, stands about rationing, Armed Forces life and 40’s life generally. Each scene is like a mini play. It makes for great opportunities for photography!

If you’ve been following this blog for a while you will probably know what I feel about war so I found myself with mixed feelings and had several discussions about the futility of war but these are historical events and they teach as well.  It’s history and let’s keep it that way.

I had intended to show you lots of photos here but I have decided I will show you some over the coming weeks on my other blog Photomania, interspersed with Scotland, Kew gardens and macro’s ( so actually it might be many weeks ! )  So why not now? 

During my walk round I came upon this man in 1940’s British Army battle dress working with a gun (makes me shudder) and then ………..

…. he lifted his head and I could see that he was little more than a child.

Look at his eyes and his fresh face below. The majority of soldiers were and still are very young men.

When they were young, anxious and terrified,
Boy-soldiers in battle fighting for their lives,
Experiencing the gamut of fear and death
Watching friends die horribly,
Scarring their young minds forever.

Extract from Harbingers by Curtis D Bennett

Is this what we want for our sons and daughters?

I want to share another poem with you. This poem was written by Tom Walker  when he was a young man who served in the Royal Navy in World War Two and it addresses the causes of war, which is rare. How very right he was and is.

Bloody War – The Cause

When greed sups with the devil
And principles are shed
When power is corrupted
And truth stands on its head
When fear pervades the confused mind
And fools are easy led
When reason is a prisoner
The bell tolls for the dead.

Tom Walker


Before I go I want to ask you all a question. Friday 21st September was the long-standing United Nations International Day of Peace which you can read about here . I didn’t see or hear this advertised much in mainstream media so my question is this. How many of my Uk and international readers knew about this day before I mentioned it here, did any of you take part in any events to mark it and how many of you saw anything in the mainstream newspapers, on TV or radio?

Please leave comments below including what country you’re in. Thank you very much and see you next week


As mentioned you can find my photography blog Photomania here I hope you’ll pop over and take a look if you haven’t already.



24 comments on “Is this what we want for our sons and daughters ?

  1. […] have visited a beautiful woodland burial site, a 40′s re-enactment, a craft fair, theatres, listened and watched Gamelan (what’s that I can hear you ask!) […]

  2. I also didn’t see anything about the Peace Day. When I photograph reenactments I also have the same thought. I’m OK with it but I wonder about how bad it would be if this was real. If those people really had to go and fight and my country was turned into a militarised fortress. We have to be thankful that we live in a relatively stable country.

  3. Thoughtful post, Helen ( and thanks for finding your way to my blog). I was aware of Peace Day – nope, didn’t commemorate it in any way(shamefully). It saddens me that it is hardly acknowledged here. We’re happy running dramas on tv about the war years, and re-enactments as you show here, but anyone wandering around with a CND symbol on the jacket these days is seen as some sort of oddity. Children in Need is ground into our psyche now. Time for International Peace Day too, I think.

    • Helen Cherry says:

      You must not feel shame Al at least you were aware of it ! .. I wonder what could be done about getting it more recognised in this country… hmmm I am going to have a think about that one.

  4. scillagrace says:

    I didn’t know that the International Peace day had been established, and I didn’t hear about it until I read this. My news source is Yahoo when I log in to check my e-mail, and what they consider “news” is absolutely ridiculous…what celebrity wore what dress, what mundane video of a dog is going viral, that sort of thing. I do care about peace, and I am careful to teach my children about it. Their father was a registered conscientious objector. I hear a lot about the US Civil War at my workplace, and that war was formative for my country, but also involved young boys and a hell of heartbreak. I see cemeteries with graves of 14-year olds and feel such sorrow for the arrogance and short-sightedness that considered war as a solution to a problem instead of a decision that would cause unsolvable grief. We need to promote better models of negotiation, better ways of thinking outside of the box, in this case a coffin. I do love reading about Thich Nhat Hahn, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and other models who used non-violent means to produce change. It is possible to do that, after all.

    • Helen Cherry says:

      You must have been very proud of Jim.. being a conscientious objector is not an easy thing to be.. non-violence has indeed been proved to be effective.. you just have to have enough people with the will and leaders to lead them..

  5. Eleanor Lamport says:

    Didn’t know that. Saw nothing in the press at all.

  6. Adrian Lewis says:

    Hi Helen – I’ve never heard about the Day of Peace, and in today’s world I’m not sure it has much relevance – I don’t mean that in a derogatory way, but rather that there’s so much hatred and violence going on around the planet all of the time that having a day of peace doesn’t mean much.

    The older I get the more I am appalled by what man does to his fellow men and I must confess that I don’t see an end to it. You and I lived through the Cold War and the only thing that prevented that becoming the Hot War was the threat of total annihilation of both sides – but wars that threaten only a relatively small amount of annihilation go on all over.

    Sorry to be so pessimistic, but this really is how I see things. Adrian

    • Helen Cherry says:

      It is easy to be pessimistic Adrian in the face of what is happening.. but I prefer to try to keep positive and the reason the United Nations Peace day ( an annual event on 21st Sept) is important is because it is marked by events across the world and because peace is ALWAYS going to be important.
      When there is so much hatred and violence around the world it has never been more important to work for love and peace.. and peacefully against governments and armaments corporations who need war to make profits..
      Change yourself and change the world..

  7. Romanticizing war if never a good thing, and I know my kids agree wholeheartedly.

    • Helen Cherry says:

      Thanks for commenting Elena.. there were aspects of this event that I definitely felt were glorifying war and I felt very uncomfortable but there were other parts where they were playing 40’s games, eating the food of the time and enjoying the fashions and some parts where they were talking to kids about how hard the rationing was and how much fear etc.. so good bits and not so good bits for me.

  8. ellyhuizinga says:

    Well I heard it on the radio , but that was all. Bye Elly

  9. No Helen I didn’t hear any mention of this on the national news. Is peace newsworthy?
    My thoughts on war; it is ineveitable given that we are animals and all animals fight over territory. However, as we progress from a battlefield in the middle of no-where to the destruction of whole cities and the loss of innocent lives it becomes sickening and futile. Particularly as lessons have not been learnt from 2 world wars. What I find most shocking is that unlike the soldiers of the WW2 a life in the army now is seen as a career, a chance to see the world, get a pension and live an action packed life. So has war now turned into an unsavoury money making business? Is it part and parcel of global economy? If so, war will be seen as good for something.
    In other news, I love those photos. The light on the boy’s face is suberb.

    • Helen Cherry says:

      It should be newsworthy Ziggy.. This was a United Nations day that happens on the 21st Sept each year so you’d think it would at least get a mention as there were events happening in many countries in the world.
      War is sadly very big business indeed and I think the lessons that were learnt were that keeping people in fear is a good way to control them..
      Animals fight over territory because they have learnt to.. babies of all species learn responses.. If we teach peace and love children will respond with leace and love..

  10. tunnelmental says:

    thank you for being a shining light, a beacon of peace shining so bright…love and peace are my weapons.

  11. Rachael says:

    Yes, I did know about it, not from the ‘mainstream’ press but from social networking sites, mainly Facebook on this occasion. I joined in a discussion on a friend’s homepage there. I am on the whole not ‘into’ the numerous international/national days/weeks. There are simply too many, and some very silly ones, so that the important ones are lost in the muddle. Also, I tend to think that if we have a nominated day for thinking about peace, does that mean we shouldn’t think about it for the rest of the year? I suppose I kick against the traces of being told today is milk day and tomorrow is panda day and Friday is women’s day etc.
    I thought this post was well done – the reveal of the fresh faced ‘soldier’ very good. It reminded me of a time I went to visit my son’s prospective grammar school. We had a talk from the Head in the main hall. The panelled walls were carved with the names of the old boys who fell during the world wars. So many of them and so young. I couldn’t concentrate on the Head’s words as I felt tears welling.
    Sorry to go on for so long!

    • Helen Cherry says:

      Oh don’t apologise for going on so long. It was a very thoughtful comment Rachael which I thank you for. In this case this day is the United Nations International Peace day and has been established for many, many years. In essence I agree about all these days. I will be interested to see if any others heard anything about it on general news programmes. Rachael if you like to do me as friend on facebook it would be good to keep in touch via there. Helen Cherry

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