World peace starts at home

Remembrance Day is still months away. But today marks the beginning of that final end to the First World War: the "Hundred Days Offensive," as it came to be known, began at Amiens and pushed back the enemy in Northern France, until the Armistice was signed on a train car at Compeigne, in the early hours of Nov. 11, 1918. When it came into effect at 11 a.m., the guns fell silent, and the process of remaking Europe, ravaged by four years of total war, began.

We are all well aware that the peace that followed did not last, resulting in an even more terrible war; for that matter, the Russian Revolution, a direct result from the bloodletting that was the First World War, went on to kill more people than both world wars, in the form of collectivist economies that ensured starvation for millions. The endless violence and brutality of the 20th century is inextricably tied to the First World War and the assassination that started it in 1914.

article continues below

This presents us with a conundrum and a problem of historical perspective, As we walk with our ancestors through these next 100 days, we remember their bold sacrifices; and if we do this consistently, perhaps using a "this day in history" website, our hearts will be prepared to mourn their losses and celebrate the peace that came about when we gather on November 11th. But we must still face the truth that "the War to End All Wars," did not actually prevent more conflict.

Much of the existential doubt that plagues the West today is tied up in this issue; all of the hopes of progress and ascendancy that marked the later half of the 19th xentury died on the battlefields of Ypres, the Somme, and Passchendaele. And the Imperial powers that fell apart in the aftermath of the First World War and the Second, as well as the brutal post-colonial wars that ensued, has added to the fear and despair still informing many policies in democracies today.

There is not space here to detail the various ways this has affected our culture, nor can we expect to build world peace in a day; in fact, a tragic sense of life is probably a better place to start, as the inherent goodness of man has been supremely refuted by the last 100 years.

But "never again," is still a banner worth rallying to - and like most things in life, I would hazard to guess it begins by solving the conflicts in our own lives, then communities, and then, perhaps, the nation. You may think that sounds contrived, but in the case of The Great War it is absolutely applicable: notwithstanding our forces' bravery, we must recall that all the belligerents were royal relatives; perhaps world peace really does begin with solving our own family feuds.

Read Related Topics


NOTE: To post a comment you must have an account with at least one of the following services: Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ You may then login using your account credentials for that service. If you do not already have an account you may register a new profile with Disqus by first clicking the "Post as" button and then the link: "Don't have one? Register a new profile".

The Prince George Citizen welcomes your opinions and comments. We do not allow personal attacks, offensive language or unsubstantiated allegations. We reserve the right to edit comments for length, style, legality and taste and reproduce them in print, electronic or otherwise. Comments that contain external links will not be permitted. For further information, please contact the editor or publisher, or see our Terms and Conditions.

comments powered by Disqus

SNC-Lavalin scandal POLL

What would you like to see happen in the wake of the SNC-Lavalin scandal?

or  view results

Sign Up For Our e-Newsletter!
  • 97/16

    Prince George's Weekly News

Popular Citizen

Community Event Calendar

Find out what's happening in your community and submit your own local events.

Lowest Gas Prices in Prince George
Prince George Gas Prices provided by