Personal indulgence

The Oxford Times: Commemoration: The new £2 coin Commemoration: The new £2 coin

Sir – You reported (January 16) that the Fellowship of Reconciliation “alongside other Christian charities” has criticised the design of the £2 coin featuring the famous Lord Kitchener image which is being issued in commemoration of the outbreak of the First World War.  The director of the Fellowship, Mr Palayiwa is reported as saying that “this design is in danger of glorifying the war”.
Mr Palayiwa and those who share his views may well feel that the Great War was not an edifying episode of human history, but he confuses ‘commemoration’ (calling to mind — of itself, an entire neutral act) with ‘glorification’.
I see nothing in the design which expresses either approval or disapproval, but certainly an image which above all others is likely to call to mind that war for us.
Like the holocaust of the Second World War, which we should not forget, or atrocities which the British alongside all other nations have committed in the past, we do well to reflect upon the human capacity to do evil as well as good; however, to take offence on the pretext of seeing glorification in an image used only to commemorate seems an unnecessary personal indulgence.
Philip Kenrick
Abingdon

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