From their early beginnings in the 17th century Quakers (the nickname of the Religious Society of Friends) have born witness against war and have promoted peace. Fundamentally Quakers believe that war does not resolve animosities and after every conflict, the various parties have to talk to each other and reach agreement. Therefore for a culture of peace the sensible and right thing to do is to talk and mediate before any conflict. Quakers believe everyone is equal and we all have the capacity to use the good within us to make the world a better place.
The 21st of September is a day designated by the United Nations to recognise the importance of peace. Henley Quakers will marking the day by doing two things. Diana Barnett said, “We will be placing a wreath at the Peace Tree in Mill Meadows which is the Rowan in front of the River and Rowing Museum. Also in the morning we will be handing out free white poppies in the Market Place to anyone who would like one.”
White poppies are worn in memory of all those across the world who suffered and are suffering now as a result of war, wherever they may be. White Poppies honour them by supporting work for peace, through education and mediation.
White poppies were first worn in 1933 by the mothers, sisters, wives and friends of men who had died in the First World War. Their message was ‘Never Again’ should people give their lives in wars. Yet more than 100 years after the ‘war to end all wars’, millions are still dying in war. A white poppy is a way to say “Let’s work for Peace.”