Daniel Lenham; ‘We are here today in protest at the decision to bomb in Syria and to return medals given to us for our participation in previous attacks on the Middle East.’
Kirk Sollitt; ‘These medals were given to me for my service in the military, which is controlled by the Government, who last week have voted for, and joined in the bombing of Syria. Innocent, vulnerable sentient beings are being killed, men, woman and children. You cannot sow bloodshed and reap peace. I no longer require these these medals.’
[Kirk Sollitt discarded his N Ireland GSM and Gulf War medals].
Phil Mace; ‘I don’t understand what these medals are for or what they are supposed to mean. I joined the army as a teenager hoping to better myself and I believe I did that whilst on operations in Afghanistan. One day whilst out on patrol I was asked to blow a hole in a building, not knowing what was on the other side. I thought to myself What if? What if it is a baby? What if it’s with its mother? What if it’s there with the whole family? I would much rather live my life not having to deal with the consequences of What If. That is why I throw these medals back. What if every soldier past and present did this?’
[Phil Mace discarded his Afghanistan OSM, NATO IASF and Queens Diamond Jubilee medals.]
Dave Smith; ‘My name is Ben Griffin but I am here today in place of our fellow veteran Dave Smith. Dave was disabled during his service in the Army he has asked me to come here today to discard his medals and read this statement. “As a past member of the British Armed Forces, like others who are stood here today. I would like to express my utter disgust at the Governments decision to bomb yet another middle eastern Country, namely Syria. I have come to realise the only beneficiaries of war and armed conflict are the arms manufacturers, large corporations, and banking elites. I therefore return my medals as a mark of protest, along with those of my father who was like minded. My prayers are for all those who will suffer as a result of the bombing, war solves nothing, I reject the notion completely. My dad Morris served in Palestine, Malaya and Cyprus. He felt guilt every time he saw anything on the news about the conflict in Palestine, he would turn the TV off.. He never got over his experience of war, I am returning his medals also.”
[Dave Smith discarded his N Ireland GSM, UN Cyprus and Queens Silver Jubilee medals. Dave also discarded the medal of his Dad Morris Smith, a GSM with bars for Palestine, Malaya and Cyprus.]
Daniel Lenham; “My name’s Daniel Lenham, I served in the Royal Air Force between 2002 and 2014. I am here to relinquish these tokens of militarism. This is the token I received for the occupation and invasion of Iraq. This is the medal I received for the destruction and devastation of Libya. I’m here today to show my utter contempt and disgust at the government’s decision to once again, attack in the Middle East. I can think of no better way of doing that than by relinquishing these tokens of militarism. If you look close enough at these medals, you can see the reflections of dead Iraqis, you can see the embers of Libya and you can see the faces of the men and women of the British Armed Forces who didn’t return and also those who did so with lost limbs and shattered souls. I no longer require these medals.
We are Veterans For Peace, our have members have served in every war that Britain has fought since WW2. We bring you the simple message that war is not the answer to the problems of the 21st Century.