RUSI and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission reflect on the role of commemoration in the 21st Century
On Thursday 9 November, on the eve of Remembrance Sunday, RUSI held an all-morning conference to reflect on the role commemoration has to play now and in the future, including as an instrument of international diplomacy and as a reminder of the human cost of warfare.
RUSI’s "Commemorating the Past: Safeguarding the Future" conference, hosted at 61 Whitehall jointly with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC), brought together international commemoration organisations, academic scholars, military experts, politicians and diplomats from around the world.
A range of panellists considered the potential of acts of commemoration to help governments and nations meet global challenges. Chaired by BBC Newsnight’s Diplomatic Editor, Mark Urban, the panel included: the UK Shadow Foreign Secretary, The Rt. Hon. David Lammy MP; Director General of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Claire Horton CBE; the High Commissioner of India to the UK, HE Vikram K. Doraiswami; the UK Military Representative to NATO, Lieutenant General Sir Ben Bathurst KCVO CBE; and the Australian Government Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel, The Hon. Matt Keogh MP.
The conference included a keynote speech, delivered by renowned historian Professor Sir Hew Strachan, exploring the relevance and significance of commemoration for future generations – particularly now as the World Wars fall out of living memory.
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