10 October 2012

Times letter calls for “special” Remembrance Day in 2014

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In a letter to The Times newspaper co-ordinated by British Future, parliamentarians, writers and senior military figures come together to support a call to make Remembrance Sunday 2014 a special Sunday.

The letter says:  “In our view, Britain should mark Remembrance Sunday in 2014 as a very special Sunday. The shops should close, and no Premiership football matches or major sports fixtures should be played.”

“We should also think about how else this special Sunday could be marked. Ideas such as flying flags at half-mast from every town hall and extending the traditional silence at the Cenotaph should be considered.”

It adds: “We would like to see all the main party leaders, civic and faith voices, teachers and the military follow the Prime Minister’s lead by contributing to a debate about how marking remembrance can bring the country together, so that together we build on the shared spirit of this Jubilee and Olympic year.”

Remembrance Day

British Future has also published polling today that shows that 69% of the public agree it should be a special day, and 83% say bells should ring across the country after the traditional moments of silence. The polling also found that there was majority support (54%) for major sports matches being moved to other days.

Sunder Katwala, director of independent thinktank British Future, said: “The centenary of the Great War should be the next great national moment bringing us together as the Jubilee and Olympics did this year. But we all need to decide if Remembrance Sunday in 2014 is going to feel pretty much like any other Sunday where Rooney plays for Man United against Arsenal or Celtic play Hearts and all the garden centres and supermarkets open just as usual. Or should this be a special Sunday where we close the shops and have a football free day and find ways of bring us together and understand our history and the country we have become?”

Those signing the letter, and others pledging support, include:

Baroness Berridge

Lord Glasman

David Lammy MP

Andrew Rosindell MP

Colonel Charles Garraway

Sir Robin Wales (Mayor of Newham)

Shiraz Maher (Senior Fellow, ICSR, King’s College London)

David Goodhart (Director, Demos)

Phillip Blond (Director, Res Publica)

Matthew Rhodes (Director of Strategy, British Future)

Kwasi Kwarteng MP

General Tim Cross

Mihir Bose

Anthony Clavane

British Future’s latest activity on Twitter