This weekend, humanist groups will participate in, lay wreaths, and represent the non-religious at local Remembrance ceremonies nationwide. These important events serve as a poignant platform for honouring the sacrifices made by all who have died, or been affected by, armed conflicts throughout modern history.
Humanist representatives will also be laying wreaths at the national Remembrance ceremonies in London, Cardiff, Belfast, and Edinburgh, as well as at local ceremonies in cities and communities around the UK. Humanists UK Chief Executive, Andrew Copson, will again represent the non-religious at the UK’s largest ceremony, the National Service of Remembrance, held at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London. Humanists UK is proud to stand alongside diverse communities in remembrance.
With 40% of UK armed forces personnel defining themselves as having no religion, rising to 50% among younger personnel, humanist representation at Remembrance has never been more relevant. It serves as a reflective bridge, connecting generations and inspiring a commitment to peace and to preserving the lessons learned from the struggles of the past. In remembering, we not only pay homage to the individuals who made the ultimate sacrifice, but also renew our dedication to building a future founded on compassion, understanding, and the enduring pursuit of a better world.
Roger Hutton, formerly Defence Humanists President and former Director International Security in the Ministry of Defence, penned this powerful articleon what Remembrance means to him:
‘Ritual can help frame our Remembrance, to give it shape, to channel our emotions. That can take a secular or a religious form. For me, as a humanist, my natural preference is the former. I want and need to hear the stories of those involved in or affected by conflict. I want to know, and learn from, the human experience of conflict.’
If you want to know more about the humanists in defence, read Humanists UK’s interview with Roger Hutton, ‘Humanists in foxholes’, and Humanists UK’s successful For All Who Serve campaign which led to humanist inclusion in Remembrance Sunday. You can also read more about the history of humanist campaigning for peace and for the right to conscientiously object on the Humanist Heritage website.
For further comment or information, media should contact Humanists UK Director of Public Affairs and Policy Kathy Riddick at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 07534 248 596.
Read more about our work on remembrance here.
Humanists UK is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people. Powered by 120,000 members and supporters, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. We provide ceremonies, pastoral care, education, and support services benefitting over a million people every year and our campaigns advance humanist thinking on ethical issues, human rights, and equal treatment for all.