Friday, November 11, 2005

Remembrance Day

On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918, the guns fell silent in Europe and the The Great War (WWI) came to an end. Four ferocious years of fighting had destroyed an entire generation. The scale of its destruction was such that it was called "the war to end all wars".

Hearing or reading the stories told by the survivors about themselves and about those who died helps put a face and a name, a tragic and personal human dimension, on the catastrophe (as the impressive Holocaust Memorial in Paris so poignantly does).

This day is commemorated all over Europe and in a lot of other countries around the world that were involved in WWI. Armistice Day. It saddens me a bit to notice that in my home country, Portugal, where more than 8 000 soldiers died fighting in this terrible war, no one even speaks of the day or of its meaning.


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