11am today marked 100 years since the end of World War One after four years of bitter conflict. At the time it was known as the Great War as well as the War to end all Wars. Sadly, this was not true as War still rages today in places such as Syria and South Sudan. It is also true that the way Wars are fought today has changed. In the Western Front of World War One the fighting took part in the Trenches. Today’s Wars seem to be fought against groups such as the Taliban as opposed to Governments. Today we also have Cyber Warfare, which didn’t exist thirty years ago, let alone in World War One.
Last year’s Remembrance Day Service was the final time that a Veteran from World War One attended. This man was Harry Patch, “The Last Fighting Tommy”. Sadly, Harry Patch died last year. With his death came the end of the World War One generation, the last man who could tell you exactly what it was like in person.
Although World War One failed to end all Wars it did lead to the end of the world as we knew it. Gone were the great empires of Europe, the class system in the United Kingdom was changed and Ireland became partitioned, as Northern Ireland chose to remain part of the United Kingdom and the Republic gained independence. These changes didn’t happen straight away. The Irish free state was created in 1922, and it became a Republic, with an elected president, under the constitution of 1937, in which it was named “Ireland”. It was officially declared a republic in 1949.
As each year passes and World War One becomes a distant memory in the history books it is important to remember the sacrifices made by the service personnel of not just World War One, however the service personnel of all wars, past, present and sadly the future. The service personnel do not choose to go to War, although they are fully aware, they could be sent to War when they sign up. They fight for their country and go to War because of the greed and failure of the elected politicians.
I hope that one day War doesn’t exist and that politicians learn how to resolve their differences through dialog. Until that day comes, I will remember the sacrifice made by all people in all War’s every day.