Monday, 4 August 2014

100 years ago

Today sees the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I - the so called "war to end all wars" that did nothing of the kind.

I wonder if the men fighting in that war had any kind of optimism, that whilst they were fighting in some appalling conditions, seeing things that no civilised society should ever allow to happen, that it really would end all war?  That the horrors there were such that, once everyone realised what had happened, the world would be so repulsed that there was no way anyone would consider going to war ever again?

Of course, that didn't come to pass, and just over 20 years later, the world was plunged again into an horrific war.

I remember studying World War I for my history GCSE, focusing mainly on the aftermath, and how the peace treaties after the war were so focused on punishing Germany that they effectively sowed the seeds for the rise of Nazism, with such catastrophic consequences.

Many events are happening today to commemorate the anniversary, and no doubt there will be many commemorations over the next 4 years, as the events of World War I reach their centenary.

The "war to end all wars" didn't do so, but is it possible that the 100th anniversary will make us think, and work to end all war?

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