Naming The Dead

Saturday 1450- 13th October 2012.

 Last Sunday I attended a very moving commemoration in London’s Trafalgar Square organised by the Stop the War Coalition.  and I want to tell you about it.

It was held on the 11th Anniversary of the start of the Afghanistan war and during the commemoration speeches were made and some of the dead, both Afghan civilians (estimated to be some 50,000) and British soldiers, were named along with when and where they died.

You can listen to some of the speeches here

It was very moving as some of the people who spoke, notably a mother and a grandmother, had lost sons or grandsons. The woman in the photo above is the very brave  Caroline Munday, she is the mother of James Munday, who was 21 when he died. He was a soldier in the Household Cavalry regiment killed in Helmund province in Afghanistan on the 15th October 2008.  She spoke emotionally not just about those killed but also about those who come home injured “broken in body and mentally”

The man pointing his finger comes from Afghanistan. Initially he was not allowed to speak because he wasn’t scheduled to but he insisted. He too spoke movingly about what is happening to his country. He also reminded those present that Osama Bin Laden had not been found in Afghanistan ( one of the reasons given for starting the war) but had in fact been found in Pakistan. He also stated that not only has Afghanistan been invaded by troops from the west but is constantly under attack from Pakistan.

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After the speeches a letter was brought to Downing Street and handed in asking that we don’t wait to withdraw troops in 2 years but we do it now and have the troops home by Christmas. Do these letters ever get read by the Prime Minister? ….. Sadly I somehow doubt it.

I’ll finish by showing you some of the faces of the British troops who have died in Afghanistan.

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Lets all demand peace at every opportunity and stop believing successive government propaganda that says we are fighting a war to reduce the threat of terrorism. 

You can read some other posts with a Peace tag here

Signing off now .. Don’t let me just wonder what you are thinking tell me below..

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

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11 comments on “Naming The Dead

  1. […] the course of this year.  I have written about the world moving too fast for me, a lot about War and Peace ( no not the book ! ) guns and Wikileaks; discovering anew the activist in me, for which […]

  2. Rachael says:

    I think I can understand why not many people commented initially, Helen. It is a very emotive subject and not one that is easily discussed tapping away on a keyboard remotely. One mourns the loss of young life. I hope never to know the agony of a mother who has lost a son in war. On the other hand, the soldiers are professionals, who have chosen a military life. Yet, it is their, undeniably sad, death on which we, as a society, tend to concentrate more, rather than the 50,000 Afghani men, women and children. I am not sure how I feel about that. Do the Afgani people still in Afghanistan (and I distinguish those from their expat brethren), insofar as we can hope to know their true feelings, want soldiers to withdraw now, or in two years, or some other time? What are the pros and cons? I feel that it is sometimes too easy to adopt the emotional choice, even though I am a pacifist at heart.
    (BTW, I did type a very long reply last week but a glitch lost me the reply button and I couldn’t face retyping the whole thing.)

    • Helen Cherry says:

      Thanks for having another go at the commenting Rachael.. The young men (and women) of the world are lured into the military by promises of seeing the world and defending peace… and their artificial country boundaries..
      I suspect the people of Afghanistan want peace, not war of any kind, and to determine their own future not have it determined for them by the corporate war machine of the West that is constantly looking for markets for it’s “goods” or oil reserves to plunder..

      Peace, love and compassion are THE only things the world needs… but there’s not much profit in those things is there ?

  3. scillagrace says:

    I feel a bit naive just realizing that the UK and Australia are involved in this. I suppose I thought it was all US. Defining “terrorism” is an interesting idea. Do you suppose a capitalist superpower terrorizes smaller nations with its basic global economic operations?

  4. […] week I wrote about the 11th anniversary of the beginning of the futile war in Afghanistan and the Naming of the Dead demonstration I attended in London. I was very surprised to find that there were so few comments on […]

  5. It depresses me that the poster of the soldiers has been amended with the number of deaths and this suggests that the fighting is just going to continue,

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