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Ghost Soldiers across the UK commemorate Battle of the Somme yesterday


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Yesterday was the hundredth anniversary of the first day of the Battle of the Somme, the brutal First World War battle in which more than a million men and boys were lost. On the first day alone Britain and the Commonwealth lost almost 20,000 souls.


Along with other commemorations yesterday, British commuters and citizens were met by silent groups of men, some only boys, in full First World War battle dress, in public spaces across the entire UK.


Each soldier had cards with the name and age (if known) of someone killed on the first day of the battle and the hashtag #wearehere . They were completely silent, except that sometimes groups would break into the song "We're Here Because We're Here", sung by British and Commonwealth soldiers at the time to the tune of "Auld Lang Syne".


We're here because we're here because we're here because we're here,

We're here because we're here because we're here because we're here.


The sight was eerie. Many spectators were moved to tears.


The source of the commemoration was kept secret until the end of the day. Turner-prizewinning artist Jeremy Delier conceived the memorial and teamed up with National Theatre director Rufus Norris for the project, under the umbrella of 14-18 NOW, a UK arts funding program to commemorate the First World War. Well over a thousand volunteers, nonprofessionals, aged 16 to 52 to reflect the people they commemorated, were kitted out and trained for the project.

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A beautiful and touching commemoration.


Now if only we might learn from the past.

I'm afraid we still didn't,  given the situation in the world today.


We've had a memorail this year in the Netherlands for WWII.

Behind every gravestone at the cemetary where this was held, there stood a living person of the same age and gender as the fallen.

Children, women and men of all ages stood there.

Edited by Xherman1964
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