How do we make sure we never forget the lessons that we always used to remember? Last weekend, huge crowds in St Albans queued for hours to see a stunningly beautiful set of poppy projections – see video – inside the walls of the magnificent Cathedral ahead of the 100th anniversary of Remembrance Sunday, or Armistice Day.
As I looked at those standing with us in the cold and rain, I considered how there is next to no one left alive with any memory of World War 1. Even those with childhood memories of World War 2 would be at least knocking on the door of their 80th birthdays. There were precious few of the latter in the crowd – and yet those with no recollection at all kept coming and queueing around several blocks of the city centre until late into the evening.
I do worry that while the understanding of war’s folly burns bright among ordinary people, the mistakes that led us there are now being repeated by leaders around the world. And this is why a 100 year old commemoration should shamelessly lean on new technology and ideas to keep the flame of remembrance alive.