More than 200 members of the public joined Dublin Quakers making white poppies and creating an art installation in Merrion Square, Dublin, on 11 November 2018.
This was to commemorate not only the 9.7 million soldiers and 10 million civilians who died during World War 1, but all who have died as a result of military violence at all times.
The Dublin Quaker Peace Committee, which organised the event, found the response of passers-by “extraordinary”.
“We decided to make white poppies because we wanted our focus to be on individuals, not governments or politicians or generals,” said Seán McCrum, convenor of the Dublin Quaker Peace Committee.
“We felt that we should come up with an event that would commemorate Armistice Day 1918 in a way that would make it very clear we are commemorating all of the individuals who suffered, whether they were military or civilians. And it was very important civilians be remembered because they are totally forgotten about,” he said. “The white poppy is a statement of peace as opposed to the red poppy which has become embroiled in UK politics.”
You can read an excellent article about the event in The Irish Times here.
It was the second time for the Dublin Quaker Peace Committee to host such an event. In 2016 they held a similar event in Merrion Square to commemorate the last day of the Somme when many Irish people were also lost.
The following statement was made in 1661 by early Quakers and we believe it is as valid now as it was then: ‘We utterly deny all outward wars and strife and fighting with outward weapons, for any end or any pretence whatsoever.’
You can see more photos on our Facebook page here.