Monday 12 November 2018

2018 Cult of Reconciliation Commemorating the 100h years of Armistice and the completion of the First World War (1914/1918) -


Gate opening between the British and German cemeteries-November 11, 2018.
                                               EDUARDO C.GERDING
Ode of Remembrance by Laurence Binyon
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.


Between July 28, 1914 and November 11, 1918, Europe experienced "The Great War", which faced millions of soldiers from 32 nations of the 5 continents. It lasted 4 years, 3 months and 11 days. 2
Niall O`Dowd founder of the IrishCentral did not hesitate to say: The First World War was an abomination, started over a dispute between the Kaiser in Germany, the Tsar in Russia, and England’s king. A dispute among cousins led to the bloodiest conflagration the world had ever seen at that point 7


Niall is the Founder of IrishCentral as well as of Irish America Magazine and the Irish Voice Newspaper. He is also responsible for publishing IrishCentral.com community newspaper and The Irish Emigrant newspaper, in Boston.He founded the Wall Street 50 awards, the Top 100 Irish Americans, the Business 100 and more recently the Top 50 Women in Business and the Irish Legal 100 awards. Niall was awarded an honorary doctorate by University College Dublin for his work on the Irish peace process, which was a subject of a book, "Daring Diplomacy" and a PBS Special, "An Irish Voice."

The total number of military and civilian casualties in the First World War was around 40 million. There were 20 million KIA and 21 million WIA. The total number of deaths includes 9.7 million military personnel and approximately 10 million civilians. The Allies lost 5.7 million soldiers and the Central Powers lost about 4 million. 9

4852 Argentine volunteers participated in the ranks of the British Army 5. 6000 participated in the ranks of the French and 32,400 in the Italian troops in the conflict. 1

As a doctor I can not fail to mention the outstanding participation of the Argentine surgeon Dr. Pedro Chutro in the Military Hospital Buffon as well as the Military Hospital in Paris (150 beds ) in the XVI district located in Jules Claretie 14 street (a building belonging to the Anchorena family) . 1

Several battles are synonymous with the conflict: the first and the second of Marne (1914 and 1918), Tannemberg (1914), Gallipoli (1915), Verdun (1916), Somme (1916) and Ypres (1918). 2
The war ended on November 11, 1918, and the so-called Peace Treaty of Versailles (France) was signed in a wagon on June 28th, 1919 at 5 AM in Compiègne (France) .Six hours later the war ended . 2, 3,4
Other concomitant tragic events

The Easter Rising

It is estimated that 50,000 Irish died in the front but for various reasons this day arouses controversial feelings in Ireland even today 7, 10. The Easter Rising (Easter Rebellion or Irish Rising, in Irish: Éirí Amach na Cásca) was a rebellion that took place in Ireland against the authority of the United Kingdom, that exploded on Monday of Easter of April of 1916.

The Russian Revolution

The term Russian Revolution (Русская революция, Ruskaya revolycitsiya) groups all the events that led to the overthrow of the tsarist regime to the prepared restoration of another, Leninist between February and October 1917, which led to the creation of the Soviet Federative Socialist Republic of Russia .

Pandemic of Spanish Influenza of 1918

The flu epidemic of 1918 (also known as the Spanish flu) was a pandemic that, unlike other epidemics of flu that affect mainly children and the elderly, many of its victims were young and healthy adults, and animals, including dogs and cats. It is considered the most devastating pandemic in human history, since in just one year it killed between 40 and 100 million people.

In the United States the disease was first observed in Fort Riley (Kansas) on March 4, 1918, although already in the fall of 1917 there had been a first wave herald in at least fourteen military camps.

The Poppy

The scarlet poppy (popaver rhoeas) grows throughout western Europe. After the Napoleonic wars the devastated fields saw poppies grow next to thesoldiers´bodies. This was observed at the end of 1914 in the fields of northern France and Flanders. The importance of this flower was highlighted by the Canadian surgeon John McCrae in his poem In Flanders Fields.This flower represents the immeasurable sacrifice of soldiers. It was adopted by the Royal British Legion. The white poppy on the other hand was introduced for the first time by the Women's Co-operative Guild in 1933 as a symbol of peace and the end of wars. 4

The bleuet

Since 1935 the French government has formalized the sale of cornflowers (centaurea cyanus) on the occasion of Remembrance Day. The cornflower flower continued to grow in the fields where the artillery was daily fired .. They were the only things with color in the trenches. Because of its resemblance it was used as well as the nickname of the French soldiers of «Class 1915» who were the first to wear the new blue horizon uniform.
On September 15, 1920, Louis Fontenaille, president of Mutilés de France proposed that the cornflower be the eternal symbol of those who died for France.

The Irish song Long way to Tipperary

It is a song so well known that the German soldiers translated it and sang it on the front. Apparently Jack Judge (an English fishmonger) was the co-author with Harry Williams of a previous song called It's a Long way to Connemara that deals with a young Irishman who misses his girlfriend from that town. Judge, whose grandmother was from Connemara, changed Connemara for Tipperary and sold her rights to Bert Feldman. The first public mention of the song was when the journalist George Curnock reported that a battalion of Connacht Rangers landed in France singing it. 8

The two minutes of silence

At 11 am on the eleventh day of the eleventh month of each day two minutes of silence are observed in cemeteries and other public dependencies of Great Britain as a tribute for all those who lost their lives fighting for the country. In a letter published in the London Evening News on May 8, 1919, an Australian journalist Edward George Honey proposed a space of silence for the fallen in WW1. This attracted the attention of King George V and on November 7, 1919 he issued a proclamation calling for two minutes of silence. 3


Germany does not commemorate Remembrance Day, although it has another national date to remember the civilian and military dead who died in conflicts. The Volkstrauertag (Day of peoples´mourning ) is commemorated two Sundays before the first day of Advent. This day is observed since 1952. On that day the national anthem is sung as well as the song "Ich hatt 'einen Kameraden (I had a comrade).6

(Photos taken by the author)

           Military Band Tambor de Tacuari Regiment Nº 1 of Patricios
                        Director: Major Diego González Cejas
           St George´s Chamber Choir: Imagine-WJ Lennon
                   Director: Laura D`Arcangelo/James Thomas(Keyboard)
                      Welcome by Rev. Gregory James Venables
          Archbishop Primate of the Anglican Church in South America
            O God, our help in ages past (I.Watts, W.Croft)
                             Father Ruben Suhr
           German-speaking catholic community Saint Boniface
           Archbishop Primate Rev. Gregory James Venables
                Our Father (each in it´s own language)
      Rev. Douglas Robertson St Andrew Presbyterian Church
               The Legion´s Remembrance ceremony
                                 Placement of wreaths
                   Legionary Ronny Scott (Fleet Air Arm)
                                Ode of Remembrance
                                 Epitaph of Kohima
             Legionary Charles Yatman-US Army-Korea
              Reading of the French casualties names
       French Military attache Lt.Col Pierre-Yves Derangère
                                 2 Minutes Silence
    Military Band Tambór de Tacuari Regiment Nº1 Patricios
                             Placement of wreaths
       American, British, French, German Ambassadors
           American, British and French Legionaries
                          Opening of the Gate
British Ambassador Mark Kent and German Ambassador Jürgen Christian Mertens
              Danny Boy (Frederick E. Weatherly)
       Institute Deutsche Schulle Ballester Choir
               Director: Gustavo Héctor Pérez
                     Lt. Col. Christian Conrad
   German Ambassador Jürgen Christian Mertens
                     Letters from the front line
          (American, British, French and German)
     German Ambassador Jürgen Christian Mertens
                            Minister Karin Krug
             German Evangelical Congregation
                         Placement of wreaths
American, British, French and German Ambassadors and Military attaches
                     Eternal source of Light Divine (G.F. Händel)
Karin Thorbauer (Soprano)-Javier Lovato(Trumpet)-Cristina Deanna (Pipe organ)
                                 Closing words
                      Lt.Col. Christian Conrad

On the 100th anniversary of the armistice of the First World War we broke down the wall that separated us, erecting this ceremonial portal as a symbol of our fraternal union .
                                                           November 11st, 1918-2018

  British Ambassador Mark Kent (Photograph taken by the author)

French Ambassador Pierre Henri Guignard and German Ambassador Jürgen Christian Michael Mertens (Clarín-https://www.clarin.com/mundo/embajadores-francia-alemania-argentina-conmemoraron-fin-primera-guerra_0_f_tSVhXvf.html#cxrecs_s

Opening of the gate

Institute Deutsche Schulle Ballester choir

Military Band Tambor de Tacuari Regiment Nº1 Patricios

1-Avignolo, María Laura-Primera Guerra Mundial: Pedro Chutro, el cirujano de guerra argentino que salvó decenas de vidas en Francia. Clarín, Noviembre 11 de 2018.
2-Balza, Martín VGM-A 100 años del final de la Gran Guerra: los actores y las batallas de una tragedia que costó millones de vidas.Infobae-11 de noviembre de 2018.
3-BBC-1918-2008-Ninety years of Remembrance-Silence- http://www.bbc.co.uk/remembrance/how/silence.shtml
4-BBC-1918-2008-Ninety years of Remembrance-Why the Poppy?

5-Gerding, Eduardo-Current Lessons of WW1.The Nottingham-Malvinas Group.
6-Laud,Georgina-Remembrance Day 2018-Does Germany have Remembrance Day?
Express-Nov 11, 2018

7-O`Dowd, Niall- I’ll wear a poppy for First World War when the British wear an Easter Lily for 1916. IrishCentral-11 November 2018

8-O`Dowd, Niall-The true history of “Long Way to Tipperary” finally revealed this Armistice Day- IrishCentral-11 November 2018

9-Reperes-Partenariat Éducatif Grundtvig 2009-2011.


10-Wilson, James- This is why the Irish no longer mark Remembrance Day-IrishCentral-11 November 2018