The Burden of Remembrance

Above: the last known WW1 combat veteran, Claude Choules, who died 5th May 2011. The last known non-combat veteran who served in WW1, the RAF mess steward Florence Green, died on 4th February 2012.

Today at 11am was 100 years exactly since the end of the First World War. Growing up in the 00’s there were still quite a few WW1 veterans out and about; both WW1 and WW2 were “modern wars” within living memory. So it’s startling that I suddenly find myself here, at the 100 year anniversary. It only took 10 years for the last remaining veterans to die off. There are still a few old people alive who remember the war as children, but none who actually fought in it and experienced what it was like to be in the trenches. For the last 100 years we’ve had veterans to tell us how horrible that War was, but now the responsibility of remembrance has fallen to us.