The whole country has joined together in a period of remembrance, as we mark the hundredth anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War. A report in the Manchester Evening News looks at the moving ceremony that took place in Manchester’s Trafford Centre to commemorate the occasion. Here, Glowing Global review this report and consider the importance of learning from the past in business as well as life.
“We no longer have any survivors from the First World War, but it’s important that moments such as this are marked with the respect they deserve”, said Ricco Katona, director of Glowing Global. “The bravery of the soldiers lives on, and the stories of their courage and self-sacrifice still touch the heart of people in Manchester and across the globe.”
The Trafford Centre is always busy, but on this occasion people were here for a very different reason. It was full of staff, visitors, and shoppers, but also veteran soldiers and current service men and women. A cascade of one million poppies were released, to the background of Vivaldi’s ‘Spring’ movement, before the Last Post was played mournfully by a lone trumpeter. All minds turned to the sacrifice that had been made by so many, and tears were shed.
When war between Britain and Germany was officially declared on August 4th, 1914, it was commonly thought that it would be over by Christmas. Nobody could have foreseen the four years of stalemate and slaughter that were to come. Nearly 900,000 British and Empire troops lost their lives, and many more were killed from Germany, Russia, USA, and others. Those who returned from the western front were changed men, and they vowed never to let it happen again. In the years after the armistice, the conflict was often referred to as ‘the war to end all wars’, but this proved to be sadly optimistic. The lessons weren’t learned and a new, even longer, war erupted little more than 20 years after the last one.
“When people overcome adversity, there are always lessons to be learned”, said Ricco Katona. “This is also true of business. If entrepreneurs don’t learn from their mistakes, they are destined to go on repeating them. Learning can be a cathartic experience, and make a person and a business stronger.”
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