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We don’t usually mark Memorial Day in Britain. Previously known as Decoration Day, the last Monday in May is a US holiday which originally remembered American men and women who have died in military service in the American Civil War. Following World War I, the memorial was expanded to include military casualties of any war. More recently, US peace and anti-war groups have reclaimed Memorial Day, holding ceremonies to remember all victims of war, military and civilian, and to call for an end to all wars.
When Bridie Przibram travelled from Wrexham to Portland, Oregon, to stay with her friend Sean Lewis, a member of Veterans for Peace (VFP) Chapter 72, who would be holding a Memorial Day ceremony and picnic, Wrexham peace groups were delighted to exchange messages for peace. So, on Memorial Day in Portland, Bridie read out our message. In Wrexham, around 20 people braved very blustery weather for our own Memorial Day event. We read out the message from VFP Chapter 72 then shared a picnic in a sheltered corner of Wrexham’s Peace Garden. Reflecting on peace and unity across the pond, we tucked into vegan hotdogs courtesy of Wrexham Veggies.