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Churches renew D-Day peace wish

Ecumenical bodies of Churches in France, Germany, Canada, United States and Britain and Ireland have made a joint statement ahead of Sunday's commemoration of the sixtieth anniversary of the D-Day landings.

The churches described the celebration of the Allied landing in Normandy as an occasion for the expression of gratitude for the heroism of those who freed allied countries from the Nazis.

They said: "That peoples pulled into bitter combat with each other could have found the ways of reconciliation and peace, that their representatives could be united together here on the beaches where yesterday's battles were fought, deserves to be honoured by all those who in this world wish to be led by the God who calls all people to be peacemakers."

The church bodies pointed out that it required two world wars for Europe to renew its allegiance to democracy and to outlaw war. They called on governments taking part in Sunday's celebration on the beaches of Normandy to "accept that they bear the same responsibility as sixty years ago: to give to the world the means of reconciliation and peace".

They specified that the governments' responsibility includes support for international institutions born of the victory of 1945 - such as the United Nations - "which encourage reconciliation, the adoption of economic policies that promote justice, and the casting of visions for peace."

Churches renew D-Day longing for peace (Independent Catholic News 31/5/04)

Mark D-Day anniversary in France by promoting peace, say churches (Ecumenical News International 31/5/04)

2 Jun 2004