Nine years before I was born, the horrifying conflagration we have come to call The Second World War, came to an end.

Six years of mayhem finally ceased on 7 May 1945 when General Alfred Jodl of the German Werhmacht signed an unconditional surrender and on 15 August 1945 when Japan surrendered to the Allied Forces.

In six years of world chaos over 60 million people died – 27,000 deaths per day on average from Sept 1939 – Aug 1945. More than half of these deaths were civilian casualties. 1 out of every 22 Russians died in the Second World War. 1 out of every 25 Germans was killed. 1 out of every 150 Italians & English and 1 out of every 200 French citizens were dead by the time the last body was lowered into this graveyard of grief.

Since the end of the Second World War and the dawn of the twenty-first century, it is estimated 51 million more people have perished in wars throughout the world. This is a total of well over 100 million war dead in the sophisticated educated technologically advanced 20th Century.

Numbers do not begin to describe the avalanche of misery and despair each of these deaths represents. It is a litany of 100 years of unimaginable horror.

Peace is a desperately elusive phenomenon for the human community. We seem to find it almost impossible to live in peace with one another.

What makes it so desperately difficult for us to live peaceably in the world?

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