Yesterday word came that the last French veteran of World War I died at the age of 110. Less than a handful remain in the rest of the world, with only one in the US, 107-year old Frank Buckles of West Virginia. So, the last memory of the Great War is about to die out.
My point here is not to glorify it all, far from it. That war was a horror, if not as deadly as its successor, WW II. The literature inspired by it is one of horror and alienation: A Farewell to Arms, All Quiet on the Western Front, and even the more depressing war scenes from The Lord of the Rings (Tolkien served in the trenches of France then). My point is that we should fear that the consciousness of how horrible war is and has become should not fade, even as those who experience it die off.