In the European cultural landscape, the date 11.11 intersects in two ways:
On one hand, the famous carnival starts every year in Cologne on this day. In fact, it starts punctually on 11th November at 11am and 11 minutes. It is undoubtedly one of the happiest events in European culture. And so every year numerous fools dance and sing again.
On the other hand, on the 11th of November the end of the First World War, in the truest sense of the word, is «sealed». However, this is not celebrated so extensively by Europeans, and not all are aware of it. Maybe that is for the better. Usually you celebrate something joyful, like carnival. Nobody wants to celebrate a dance of death.
But this year is an exception. In 2018, most Europeans commemorate the 100th anniversary since the end of the First World War. One of the bloodiest and most meaningless wars in human history. There are no more living veterans of this war, but the memory lives on. For now.
The First World War demanded nearly 10 million deaths and about 20 million wounded soldiers. More than 7 million civilians fell victim to this war.
And this war left almost 7 million orphans. These can certainly be considered special victims of the war.
Numerous destroyed cities, settlements and factories are added to the toll. Even works of European culture such as churches and cathedrals, schools and theaters were damaged or completely destroyed.
In his speech Emmanuel Macron, the President of France, president of the country where World War I officially ended 100 years ago in the Compiegne Forest at 5 o’clock and 12 minutes, affirmed the need for a lasting peace for all of us. This legacy should be the most important memory of this world event.