Today, August 4th, marks 100 years since Britain entered the First World War.
Prime Minister of the UK, David Cameron, said: “A hundred years ago today Britain entered the First World War and we are marking that centenary to honour those who served, to remember those who died, and to ensure that the lessons learnt live with us forever. It is right to remember the extraordinary sacrifice of a generation and we are all indebted to them because their most enduring legacy is our liberty.”
Millions of people across the world still feel a connection with the Great War for Civilisation. They knew the people whose lives were changed by it. They remain moved by the enduring works of art that were created as a response to it. They live with its unresolved political legacies. The First World War created a common sense of history that, decades later, still links people from many disparate nations.
For France and Germany their 100 year commemoration took place on the 3rd August. French President Francois Hollande and his German counterpart, Joachim Gauck, made a joint tribute in Alsace to soldiers killed during World War One.
Mr Hollande and Mr Gauck paid tribute to the sacrifice those men made and celebrated the importance of the modern Franco-German relationship in Europe.
The ceremony took place at Hartmannswillerkopf, Alsace, where 30,000 French and German soldiers died in fierce fights. Addressing the ceremony, the two leaders recalled the fallen soldiers’ sacrifices and praised French-German friendship in rebuilding Europe after WWII. After the ceremony, Hollande and Gauck placed a stone symbol of reconciliation between the two peoples at the site of a planned WWI museum.
“The history between France and Germany proves that good will can triumph over fatality, and that the people who considered themselves as hereditary enemies, can over a few years, reconcile their differences” Mr Hollande said.
About 17 million soldiers and civilians were killed between 1914 and 1918 and we remember these people for their great sacrifice.