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Jakarta Post

Honoring the dead, learning from the past and reconciling for the future

  • Jean-Charles Berthonnet and Peter Schoof


Jakarta   /   Mon, November 12, 2018   /  03:04 pm
Honoring the dead, learning from the past and reconciling for the future Brothers in arms: A post card released by the Historial Museum of WWI of Peronne shows French soldiers taking care of a wounded one on the front during the First World War. (AFP/Historial Museum of WWI of Peronne)

The past is never simply the past; it transcends time, influences the present, and can even impact the future. We need to learn from the past, lest we repeat errors of our forefathers. 

Thus, commemorating important events in the past helps us tell the right ways from the wrong. Nov. 11, 2018 marks the centennial of the end of World War I. On this day, our nations honor the dead, and commemorate the truce which ended a previously unimaginable bloodshed. Armistice Day 1918 is a date to remember — also because it has left its imprint not only on European history, but on history of mankind as a whole.

World War I has rightly been called the single most catastrophic event in modern history until the early 20th Century. In France, it is still simply remembered as “La Grande Guerre“— the Great War. It was the first “modern”...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.