International Conscientious Objectors Day

Terry W, a Servas member from British Columbia speaks warmly of her attendance at a special annual event in London – International Conscientious Objectors Day (May 15)

I like to stay in a hotel in central London, but my Paisley, Scotland, hosts connected me with Ruth, an active Servas member there. She was a kind and generous guide around London. One day she took the sister of South Korea’s Servas coordinator and me to the Sky Garden with a magnificent view all around London, followed by a visit to the Tate Modern where Ruth’s membership allowed us free entry to special exhibits.

Next day Ruth and I along with other UK and Australian Servas attended the International Conscientious Objectors Day at the memorial in Tavistock Square, a few blocks from my hotel. It was moving ceremony, remembering conscientious objectors from 85 countries over the centuries up to the present day who have refused military service and have been punished for their principles. We laid a white carnation for each on the memorial.

A student, Jay Sutherland, spoke wisely and passionately about the presence of military recruiters in high schools and his efforts to stop this activity. I recommend reading his words at: https://www.conter.co.uk/blog/2017/10/30/scotland-against-militarism. I felt honoured to be part of the Servas presence at such an important ceremony.

Did you appreciate Terry’s tale? If you have travelled with Servas Canada and would like to share some of your news and a couple of photographs as a Travellers’ Tale, please contact us.

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