From October 20th until November 11th, the 292,207 names of those killed in 1914 from Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Australia, Belgium, Turkey, the British Indian Army, Ireland, and the Czech Republic will be displayed. The display of names commences each evening at 8:30 and pauses at dawn the following day. In each of the WWI Centenary years, the names of those killed will be witnessed in the 100th year after their deaths.
Since 1944 The Canadian Council of Churches has been bringing together the denominations of Canada in faith and witness in justice and peace in the Name of the Prince of Peace in the world. We have and do and will speak in ways that emphasize peace and reconciliation. We have and do act in ways that create mutual understanding and respect differences while recognizing the Truth that all people are created in the image of God.
In that Spirit, we recognize in the project ‘The World Remembers’, an expression of some of the cost of war to the world, an acknowledgement of loss and a dynamic step forward in reconciliation and the mutual understanding and appreciation of differences that is and must be a part of our human reality.
Memory is part of what makes us human.
The purposes of The World Remembers and the display of the names of the dead from nations participating in this project are remembrance, education, and reconciliation. If we combine commemoration with mutual understanding, we will build a better future for us all.
All WWI nations and their former colonies have been invited to join the project. The 2014 display will include the names from Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Australia, Belgium, Turkey, the Czech Republic and the British Indian Army, since these nations have agreed to participate. We are hopeful that additional nations will join us in 2015 through 2018. We welcome all approaches and assistance in recruiting additional nations.
The names shown are military deaths only since the records for these deaths have an accuracy that records for civilian deaths cannot attain. In fact, no nation other than Belgium is making the effort to create such a WWI civilian archive.
The names display is based on equality, universality and accessibility. While the search functions provide more information about each name, in the display itself each man or woman is equally accorded a forename, a middle initial and a surname.
The databases of WWI names that help create the project are the property and responsibility of the nations that provided them. For many nations their WWI database is still a work in progress, therefore there will be some names missing from the TWR display. But again, it is the responsibility of participating nations to provide the data. Owing to the nature of the historical databases, TWR has taken the position that the name of a soldier will appear in the historical army in which they fought. Borders have changed since 1914, but most WWI archives have not.