Why should you care about World War I? The 1914-1918 conflagration was called “the war to end all war,” but it did not. Wars continue. Fascism and Nazism had its roots in WWI.
Total war, indiscriminate execution of civilians, slaughter on an industrial scale, war in the skies and under the seas, poison gas, genocide all were part of this dark chapter in world history that we continue to contend with today.
As the end of its centennial nears on Nov. 11, South Carolinians will have a few chances to revisit why this chapter of history is still important.
On. Nov. 8 at 7 p.m., a symposium will be held on the Yorktown. On Nov. 11, starting at 10:45 a.m., a wreath-laying ceremony will be held on Sullivan’s Island in the park at Middle and Osceola streets across from Stella Maris Roman Catholic Church.
On Nov. 15 at Battery Gadsden Cultural Center, Fort Moultrie staffer Marina Conner will give a lecture on Sullivan’s Islanders who lost their lives during The Great War.
Churches are also being encouraged to mark the armistice on Veterans Day by tolling their bells at 11 a.m.
Let us not break the faith. In his famous poem, Canadian physician and WWI colonel John McCrae wrote: “Take up our quarrel the foe! To you from failing hands we throw the torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die, We shall not sleep, though poppies grow in Flanders fields.”
Mike Walsh, M.D.