1914 - Centennial - 1918

The World Remembers

The World Remembers is about remembrance, education and international understanding.

The 1914-1918 war was fought on a scale never before imagined and it changed the course of history. Twenty-two million military personnel were wounded and more than nine million were killed in fighting that lasted more than four years. It is estimated that seven million civilians died. The conflict involved more than forty nations from every continent. Empires were destroyed and borders were redrawn in much of Europe and the Middle East, while the 1919 peace settlement led to consequences that many nations still live with today.

The ‘First World War’ changed attitudes about the conduct of war itself and accelerated both democratic and revolutionary upheavals. Today, live artillery shells still surface in battlefields in Belgium and France, and they still kill. It seems that the war is not yet finished. What did we learn and how shall we remember the war 100 years later?

 

People of the War

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Who were the millions of men who fought and died?  Who were the women who were killed when serving as nurses or in the merchant navies? For ninety-nine years they have been collectively acknowledged but in the centenary years The World Remembers chooses to acknowledge them individually, name-by-name and nation-by-nation. Hundreds of millions of families lost relatives in the 1914-1918 war and today each can participate in this unique commemoration.

Our principles are equality, universality and accessibility: equality, since after one hundred years there is equality in death; universality, since by presenting this project in the languages of all participating nations, we can reach the millions of families of these men and women regardless of where they live or the language they speak; accessibility, since the power of software and the internet allows us to display the name of each man or woman, and for the names to be seen wherever there is an internet connection or wherever there is a school or museum projecting the names. We wish no one to be excluded from memory.

The WWI centenary years provide the only opportunity to undertake such a large and inclusive project that not only honours the past but also looks to the future with hope and understanding. 

About The Project

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The World Remembers will display the names of those who lost their lives in names-display installations in participating nations. They will be seen in a network of schools or other organisations, on our website, and on phones and Tablets and in public displays in some countries. Each name will be programmed to appear at a precise minute, allowing anyone anywhere in the world to find the exact moment when the name of a lost relative will appear. In 2014, we will display only the names of those killed in 1914, commencing October 15th and concluding November 11th. In 2015, we will display the names of those killed in 1915. And so on. At sunrise November 11th 2018, the last of the millions of name will appear time zone by time zone around the world.

Not all WWI countries have chosen to participate and therefore their names have not been made available to us. We encourage those countries to join this project in subsequent years. Also, one hundred years after, the databases of names from many nations are not yet complete. See the country-specific pages on this site for details of the project and the timings of the displays each year.

Just as the WWI artillery shells still surface in the battlefields, so too is the history of WWI still being written. But sadly, memories of the war no longer surface in minds since those who lived it have all left us now. But the names of the dead remain, and unlike the battlefields and written histories, the names are unchanging and non-debatable. It is time to witness and remember them all, one by one. 

We encourage cities, towns, schools, museums, libraries, community and historical groups and veterans groups to display the names with the software we have built specifically for the project. We invite you to participate either by witnessing the names or by promoting an organization that can join us in displaying the names.

Memory is part of what makes us human. Please join us.