Remembering War, Working For Peace

A Field Of PoppiesThe two minute silence, in remembrance of those who gave their lives in the service of our country, seemed particularly poignant yesterday.

Being the 100th anniversary of the start of WWI has led to greater emphasis on the event.

But we should not forget the true meaning of the silence and why the sanctity of life is so important.

The sanctity of life is known to everyone. At the same time, there is universal confusion about the essential meaning of life’s sanctity. If the sanctity of life can become a solid touchstone of wisdom for all people, then humankind’s destiny to experience war and misery repeatedly can be transformed.

As Sensei explains it: “Kosen means ‘to widely declare.’ Widely implies speaking out to the world, to an ever-greater number and ever-broader spectrum of people. Declare means ‘to proclaim one’s ideals, principles and philosophy.’ The ru of rufu means ‘a current like that of a great river.’ And fu means ‘to spread out like a roll of cloth.’

“The teaching of the Mystic Law has nothing to do with appearance, form or pride. It flows out freely to all humanity the world over. Like a cloth unfolding, it spreads out and covers all. So rufu means ‘to flow freely, to reach all.’

“Just like a cloth, kosen-rufu is woven from vertical and horizontal threads. The vertical threads represent the passing of Nichiren Daishonin’s teaching from mentor to disciple, parent to child, senior to junior. The horizontal threads represent the impartial spread of this teaching, transcending national borders, social classes and all other distinctions. Simply put, kosen-rufu is the movement to communicate the ultimate way to happiness—to communicate the highest principle of peace to people of all classes and nations through the correct philosophy and teaching of Nichiren”It is toward this end, towards Kosen-Rufu, that we Nichiren Buddhists are struggling.

It is toward this end, towards Kosen-Rufu, that we Nichiren Buddhists are struggling.

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo

A Real Pride

Godlingston CemeteryYou may remember my post about seeing cemeteries during the course of my cycling trips. Well it’s happened again.

Godlingston Cemetery in Washpond Lane near Swanage holds 15 Commonwealth war graves from World War II.

Maintained by the War Graves Commission, it is a credit to the town, to the Commission and more importantly, a credit to the brave servicemen who gave their lives in the service of their King.

This evening, whilst looking at the boats in the Quay, I heard a very familiar sound, that of four Rolls-Royce Merlin engines droning overhead. It was the Lancaster from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, having done a fly-by at the Bournemouth Air Show, but that sound and the memories it conjures, left a real sense of pride to be British.

When other countries are been blamed for injuring and killing their own people, it is a great thing that we still hold those men, and machines, who fought for our freedom between 1939 and 1945, so dear.

Coincidentally, one of the graves in Godlingston is that of Michael Giles Homer DFC, a Pilot Officer, who while flying with 44 Squadron was decorated for his actions during a bombing raid in 1940. The citation reads:

“In April, 1940, this officer was pilot of an aircraft carrying out a high-level bombing attack on two enemy cruisers anchored in Christiansand Bay. In the face of intense anti-aircraft fire and attacks by enemy fighters, he successfully pressed home his bombing attack and his air gunner shot down an enemy fighter which burst into flames and crashed into the sea. Although his aircraft had been damaged he skilfully piloted it back to his base, which necessitated a sea crossing of more than 400 miles.”

Although it is unlikely that Pilot Office Homer flew the Avro Lancaster, as 44 Squadron was only equipped with them in late 1940, after his demise, it is a fitting link and further goes to illustrate the ‘connectedness’ of all things.

Avro Lancaster
The Avro Lancaster

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