Alan Burns’ Journey Continues. Memorial service for Alan was held at Charlotte Friends Meeting the evening of December 7, 2018.
Last night I got to know my friend Alan Burns by the quality and the grace of the space he left behind. By the people who gathered and the attention they gave to honoring him. His memorial was marked by the artistry and exquisite details provided by his comrades: People who walked with him and fought with him, hoped with him and wrote with him. Quaker Friends held space for the memorial in quiet worship and fond memories. Political figures of Charlotte stood side by side with family and climate activists to honor his life. Poets and orators and heart-stringed instruments sang out his work and his life’s message. The words “quiet” and “strength” were repeated by many who shared grateful remembrances. The sheer length and continuity of Alan’s peaceful conviction is enough to give pause to the frenzied efforts of a modern day lifestyle.
- “What if I, too, lived with such integrity in what I believe?”
- “What if I, too, lived in such consonance with the God-whispers in my life?”
These were questions that arose in the sharing and reverberated with many. Voices of Alan’s small grandchildren chattered lightly and joyfully at times in the service and set a tone of the future unfolding – the still present hope. “That’s my dad,” his grown children whispered with teary smiles to their own children. “That’s my dad.” The service was hauntingly ended as we sang in our own voices Alan’s hymn of peace to the music of Finlandia played on the cello. – Anne Klaus.
“This is my song
O God of all the nations,
A song of peace,
For lands a-far and mine…”
Slideshow of the life of Alan Burns
BBC clip of the young Alan Burns as a peace activist in Scotland
Printed program: A Celebration of Life