Today there is a new breed of peace (as well as war) memorials. Many of today’s peace memorials rarely commemorate the end of a war or the conclusion of a peace treaty such as the peace memorial in Brighton but are an expression of hopes and intensions and sometimes a deliberate challenge to war memorials.
War memorials generally commemorate a war; the Oxford dictionary describes them as ‘a sign of remembrance; preserving or intended to preserve the memory of a person or thing’. Peace memorials are harder to pin down and clearly they do not commemorate peace. Some remember the efforts of a person or group for peace and against war; some are aspirational and aim to promote ‘peaceful’ values.
This ‘peace’ section takes a broad view of what a peace memorial might be as the primary aim here is to draw attention to the ideas and efforts of people and groups who in various ways work against war and for peace. So a tomb erected by public subscription will introduce the 19th century Peace Society while the CO stone will be a reminder that today young men in many countries are forced to join the armed forces and imprisoned if they refuse.