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Child Use In Armed Forces Day Promotion Criticised

NOTE: This content is old - Published: Sunday, Jun 8th, 2014.

A picture being used by Wrexham Council in promoting Armed Forces Day  has been criticised by Wrexham Peace & Justice Forum.

The picture, above, is being used as the branding image for the event on June 21st. Back in April a Wrexham.com reader managed to track down the identity of the father and son featured, which was taken when the 2nd Battalion The Royal Welsh arrived back from Afghanistan to their base in Tidworth in Wiltshire.

Wrexham Peace & Justice Forum have written to Wrexham Council saying they are ‘horrified’ that a picture of a toddler dressed in military uniform is being used to advertise the event.

They say: “We strongly object to the targeting of children by the military. In 2007, members of Wrexham Peace & Justice Forum and many others protested against a military display in Queens square that included a war machine designed to fire multiple rockets and cluster bombs.

“The local children who were invited by soldiers to play on this war machine were clearly not being told about their less fortunate peers in other countries who have been killed and horribly maimed by its weapons.

“We appreciated the council’s response at that time, which was to refuse the army permission to hold similar events involving war machines on Queens Square and to deny the army its request to lead a parade through town with a tank.

“It is therefore disappointing to find WCBC now sponsoring, funding and promoting Armed Forces Day as a ‘military themed event for the whole family’ describing it as ‘family fun’ and using a young child on its poster.”

On the Facebook event for the Armed Forces event, comments have also been left to some of those who will be ‘attending the event’.

One comment that has been left says: “I would ask every parent to ask whether taking their child to an event celebrating violence is a responsible thing to do.”

While another comment adds: “Great career opportunity – killing people you don’t know for money. And thrilling family entertainment thrown in.”

During the Armed Forces Day event there will be a military village, Griffin helicopter on Llwyn Isaf Green, RAF Hawks and Spitfire to fly overhead, climbing walls, face painter, roving entertainers, circus workshops and light musical and choral entertainment from local artistes – with Wrexham Lager also having a stand.

The Peace & Justice Forum said: “We contend that it is irresponsible and unacceptable for Wrexham Council to be presenting the military and warfare in the context of family entertainment.”

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