Today, November 11, 2008 recalls the 90th anniversary of the end of World War I. At Verdun in North-Eastern France, French and German troops fought for eight months in one of the bloodiest battles in history. An awful battle of attrition that cost eight hundred thousand casualties on both sides. There were almost nine million military casualties by the end of the war in 1918.
Today I honour my grandfather, Percival Kendall, whom I sadly never met, but have never forgotten. He was gassed at Ypres, emigrated to Canada after the war, had a family but died a young man.
There is only one surviving Canadian World War I veteran and 15 total worldwide on record. It is now our collective responsibilities to ensure that their history is passed to younger generations, and that in this world of relative peace, prosperity and entitlement, these selfless heroes' sacrifice is never forgotten.
Douaumont Ossuaire contains the remains of 130 000 unknown French and German soldiers who fell on the battlefields of Verdun