100 years ago the world saw the start of World War One. The war centred in Europe and caused the deaths of more than nine million soldiers and seven million innocent civilians. Over the weekend the country remembered those who had fought for our country and fought for the world that we now live in.
Many cities and towns held memorial events and people were encouraged to attend. It culminated with a ‘Lights Out’ across Britain on Monday August 4th for 1 hour from 10pm to honour the words of Edward Grey, Britain’s Foreign Minister, on the eve of war 100 years ago “The lamps are going out all over Europe, We shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.”
An hour with lights out was a time for reflection about all the lives lost in the Great War and a time to appreciate all that we have today.
There is one question that arose from discussions about how we were going to celebrate the 100 year anniversary. Should the country have had a National Holiday? Which would have meant that everyone could fully embrace the events that happened during the day and evening. Many people in the UK were at work on Monday and during the evening and so were denied the opportunity to get involved in the events that took place.
Events attended by both the Prime Minister and Royalty emphasised how far the world has come since the outbreak of the First World War. Politicians and royalty from 83 countries attended a service in Belgium to show their respect.
It is not only the famous servicemen who will be remembered but also the everyday boys and men who gave their lives fighting for our country.
The war’s most lasting symbol poppies marked the remembrance at the Tower of London where an art piece by Paul Cummins featured thousands of poppies flowing from the monuments wall into the moat below. More poppies will be added over the summer until 888,246 has been reached, the number of British and Colonial fatalities during the War. A number that is incomprehensible.
We Will Remember Them.