Focus on human tragedy of war, not the grim statistics

Every single person who was militarily involved in World War I is now dead. That is some 65 million people, including 10 million who were killed at the time.

France’s sacrifice was particularly enormous: 1.4 million soldiers fell during the conflict – an average of almost 900 a day. The worst slaughter took place on French battlefields such as the Somme and Verdun – names that to this day signify the futility of war. More than 1 million lost their lives or were wounded during both horrific confrontations.

The figures are as stark as they are chilling, but it is right that they are highlighted as we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the 1914-18 fighting on November 11.

We need to do more than that, however. When an event is no longer ...

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