The War to End All Wars, as it came to be called in the 1920s, ended “at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month” in 1918. Since then, many countries around the world use 11 November to memorialise their war dead and to recall the sacrifice made by the 37 million military casualties of the wars throughout the 20th century – and the 84 million non-military dead. At a time when our societies, our governments, our industries and our tolerance are being put under pressure more severely than for a very long time, it behoves us all to remember the price that some have paid: from all countries; from all backgrounds; from all beliefs.
For those who serve, for those who have served and for those who were left behind – thank you. We can only hope that, by remembering, by reflecting and by educating those who do not yet know, we can avoid another generation having to learn the awful futility of the old lie – Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them