Memorial for WWII Quaker Veterans

When first seeing the headline for this particular BBC article I was very confused. Quakers are pacifists, which by definition means that they are morally against violence and war. However during World War II many felt the need to contribute to their country and help their fellow country men. In order to do what they could for the cause, they organized efforts to help on the home front and on the battlefield through medical help. Staffordshire’s National Memorial Arboretum now has the first monument dedicated to these men of faith who helped their country.

Picture of the memorial to WWII Quaker service in the National Memorial Arboretum

Photo Credit: BBC

Read BBC’s article showcasing the memorial!

I found this article to be extremely interesting and also inspiring in many ways. First I found it very inspiring that these Quakers, or “Friends,” were able to contribute to the war efforts while still holding true to the tenants of their faith. They are great examples of how there are always other ways of helping a cause beside violence.

Secondly I think the fact that these soldiers are being remembered in this memorial is also inspiring, because it shows that they are important to society and that their sacrifices were not unappreciated by their country. People would not have thought that Quakers would be on the battlefield in the first place, but they were a vital part in the effort and therefore should be remembered. This act of remembrance is an example of a country appreciating other faiths and the way they can contribute (and did contribute) to society.

My hope is that we will see more and more memorials like this one across the globe, paying tribute to the many religions of the world and their efforts to make it a better place.

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3 thoughts on “Memorial for WWII Quaker Veterans

  1. I’ve meet WW1 conscientious objectors in Quaker Meetings. I’ve also meet Quakers who served in the armed forces for WWII, who actually served on ships and on the ground–it took much discernment for these men to put aside their clarity about the need for peace to serve their country. The wonderful aspect of Quakers is that it is each person’s own sense of self and relationship to the Divine that promotes leadings into or out of Quaker testimonies. All are accepted and held with the equality that comes from believing that each of us has “that of God” within us. Thank you for your thoughtful article, Barb

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