Skip to main content

A century after the end of the Great War, The World Remembers

Concordia’s Webster Library commemorates millions of lives lost with a large-scale projection
September 11, 2018
Anti-aircraft gun in action during the battle. (Silhouette taken near Frezenberg). | Photo courtesy of National Library of Scotland, via Wikimedia Commons
Anti-aircraft gun in action during battle. | Photo courtesy of National Library of Scotland via Wikimedia Commons

More than nine million military personnel died during the First World War, which ended 100 years ago. Since 2014, an initiative called The World Remembers (TWR) has been projecting the names and nations of the lives lost during each year of the conflict. Beginning on September 12, the project comes to Concordia’s Webster Library.

Founded by Canadian actor and playwright Robert Holmes "R. H." Thomson, TWR pays homage to the men and women from more than a dozen countries who fought during the hostilities. The 2018 edition honours the 1,003,167 people who died in battle in 1918, the final year of the war, as well as those who succumbed to injuries or war-related diseases in the four years that followed.

The projection will appear on a large wall of the Webster Library on LB-2 located in the J.W. McConnell Building (LB).

“The loss of those who perished in the First World War forever changed the lives of generations of family members,” says Concordia’s president Alan Shepard.

“It continues to collectively serve as a reminder of both the fragility and significance of life.”

19 participating nations

TWR runs until November 11 at Concordia, with displays beginning at 8 a.m. each day and wrapping up at 8:45 p.m. The projection’s order will be programmed so that visitors to the library can know the precise day, hour and minute a name will appear. The timing is available on the TWR site.

Participating countries include Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada, China, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, India, Italy, Nepal, Pakistan, New Zealand, Slovenia, South Africa, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The names of those fallen will also be projected on screens at the Canadian War Museum, and in schools, museums, community organizations and libraries in seven other countries.

Remember people in conflict zones around the globe

For Shepard, the commemoration is about learning from history.

“We’re very fortunate to have developed relatively robust mechanisms to avoid such widespread and global losses of life following the two world wars,” he says.

“But we can never take for granted how easily we can revert to drawing artificial divisions among nations, peoples, languages and religions.”

“We can also benefit from The World Remembers by considering all those in conflict zones around the globe, as well as taking a moment to honour those who continue to stand in the face of injustice to preserve our human rights.”

The World Remembers is financed by private donations and foundations, as well as contributions from participating nations.


Find out more about events at the Concordia Library.


Back to top

© Concordia University