11 November 2018
Commemorating the centenary of the end of the First World War, the European Green Party co-chairs Reinhard Bütikofer and Monica Frassoni said:
“The First World War was the first industrialised war in human history. Three quarters of the countries that existed in the world at the time were drawn into this war, in which 17 million people lost their lives. In the Battle of the Somme alone - the bloodiest battle in human history - 1 million people were killed. The murderous character of war was exacerbated in ways that had been unimaginable just a few years before European powers sleep-walked into this global war. To commemorate this anniversary pays homage to the victims and also the positive heritage of overcoming Europe’s divisions and leaving behind the antagonisms of nationalism and chauvinism.
World War I has defined European history ever since. It has taught us never to forget that peace cannot be taken for granted and that it is our solemn duty to ensure that it prevails. After seven decades of relative peace in Europe, it is crucial not to become complacent. As we mourn the many millions of Europeans that died on the battlefields in the First World War, we should also show gratitude to the individuals that have helped keep a lasting peace in Europe.”
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