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Lights Out - 4th August

The year 2014 marks the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, and August 4th marks one hundred years since Britain entered the war against Germany. The outcome was catastrophic, and what was meant to be a skirmish lasting a few months stretched on for four years.

Remember with Peace

If you’re looking for a quiet and dignified way to reflect and remember this devastating war, the peaceful Lights Out event is perfect for you. Between 10pm and 11pm on August 4th, houses, government buildings and businesses will be in darkness except for one light. This can be done in many ways, and according to the official website “there is no right or wrong” way to achieve this effect. British Landmarks such as The Houses of Parliament will also be participating by switching off all their lights and staying in darkness for an hour. Businesses, community groups and families alike will be participating in this hour of reflection.

We’re fascinated by this event: light is being used to remember our war dead and look back on a conflict that cost the world 16 million lives. It’s a way to remember horrific violence with respectful peace, and the light gives us hope that the world will never see such destruction again. This memorial will be a poignant reminder of the devastation of ‘the war to end all wars’, one which may have been brewing for years but was started by a single Serbian assassin. Gavrilo Princip shot and killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria on June 28th 1914, and decades of tension finally erupted into conflict.

A World Decimated

After the assassination of the Austrian Archduke, the world descended into a reactionary war, with countries being dragged in by their allies. The image above looks rather ridiculous, but countries really did attack one another so quickly that it would seem as if they were in a personal brawl. The world changed forever after this. An entire generation of young men were wiped out, women entered the workforce for the very first time and the Edwardian idyll was crushed.

Visit the website and find out how you can get involved with The Lights Out remembrance, and needless to say, stay safe. The website recommends that you put your safety first and avoid switching off all lights if it means you’re putting your safety at risk. Instead, simply place a light or candle in a prominent place to show your support. The full health and safety disclaimer for the event can be found here.

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Published 2014/08/03