We’re all af­fected by events a cen­tury ago

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Lorries Slowly Destroying Grade Ii Listed Home -

Mon­day marked 100 years since the start of the First World War. Peo­ple across the coun­try came to­gether to pay their re­spects to the fallen and re­mem­ber the carnage and bru­tal­ity of the four-year con­flict. Ser­vices were held, wreaths were laid and can­dles were lit in homage to the 17 mil­lion soldiers and civil­ians who died be­tween 1914 and 1918. Prince Harry vis­ited Kent, of­fi­cially open­ing the big­gest per­ma­nent struc­ture mark­ing the cen­te­nary in the county, the Step Short arch. Fur­ther to this, mil­lions also took part in the poignant Lights Out on Mon­day night, which nod­ded to the words of wartime For­eign Sec­re­tary Sir Edward Grey, who said: “The lamps are go­ing out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our life­time.” House­holds and pub­lic build­ings – in­clud­ing 10 Down­ing Street and the Houses of Par­lia­ment – switched off their lights for an hour of re­flec­tion. Some feared that by mark­ing the cen­te­nary we would be in dan­ger of cel­e­brat­ing or glo­ri­fy­ing the war. How­ever, this couldn’t be fur­ther from the case. It was hard not to be­come emo­tional lis­ten­ing to peo­ple speak­ing of their rel­a­tives who fought, or watch­ing our serv­ing soldiers march­ing in the foot­steps pre­vi­ously taken by men on the way to the Western Front, many of whom were un­likely to re­turn. By mark­ing the 100th an­niver­sary, we re­mem­ber those who died and hon­our their sac­ri­fice.

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