An entire generation of European leaders put all they had into making the European project above all a peace project. That is their greatest accomplishment, but all they get in return is ingratitude: the post-war generations grew up in ever-increasing prosperity and security, but they fail to recognize just how extraordinary their lives are….
All you have to do is look at Gaza or Ukraine – in this globalized world that’s right on Europe’s doorstop – to see how vulnerable peace can be and how quickly an infernal spiral of violence can develop. For that reason such commemorations must not degenerate in the years to come into a bonanza for small businesses and their trade in souvenirs. They must provide moments of reflection and understanding that peace does not come of its own accord, but that it must be striven for….
It is an appeal to today’s fighting parties to end their violence.
Source: Yves Desmet in de Morgen (Belgium, August 4)