Scouts from Wrexham’s twin town in Germany have sent a message marking the 100th anniversary of the moment the guns fell silent and the First World War came to an end.
In the message the Scouts from Hemer promise to send 1kg of earth from the land around their homes, so that it can be mixed with soil in Wrexham. In exchange, Wrexham Scouts will send 1kg of soil from their campsite to their friends in Germany.
The message reads:
To the Scouts of Wrexham…
A saying goes: history repeats itself.
We remember today, with you – even if we are not together in one place – together we commemorate the end of the First World War 100 years ago.
This may scare us but at the same time be a warning. Because history with its bad sides must not be repeated. What happened 21 years after the end of World War I, everyone knows about.
Our former Federal President, Richard von Weizsäcker, said “you have to know the history to live the present and to shape the future.”
Then we act: We remember, to be reminded, to learn from our mistakes in history. We live the present, that is, we cultivate our common friendship with you, not only one of Scouts but of nations, to shape the future, that is, to keep the peace.
Since none of you can be here with us and none of us on this momentous day, we have taken 1kg of the earth from our hometown to symbolise the friendship between our Scout groups. We will send you this soon – with the request to mix this with the earth in the immediate vicinity of your Scout home. Please send us in return 1kg of your earth. We will then do the same.
We hope that the friendship between our groups will last for years and that in mutual visits will take place in the following years.
Moreover, we hope that we will never again have to wonder why our peoples have shot each other again.
The Scouts of Hemer, Germany
Wrexham Scouts have sent the following message in return:
To the Scouts of Hemer…
We stand together this weekend remembering all those that have fallen on both sides, maybe not together physically, but together in thought and hope.
One hundred years since the guns fell silent, there are still those who have not learned from history. It is more important now than at any stage in our history that we show young people that they have a responsibility to shape their own futures and the future of all.
The work of the Scouts is vital – we must use our friendship across nations to challenge those who wish to put up walls between peoples, celebrate our similarities, and thus keep the peace.
We will accept and cherish your kind gift of earth and mix it together with ours here, and gladly send some of ours in exchange, forever linking our lands as are the people who live upon it.
One of our Scouts, Micha aged 16 has this message:
“It was a great tragedy with the amount of lives taken and effected. We mourn them wholeheartedly and should spread the message of peace as far as we can.”
May we continue to live together in peace and friendship.
The two groups of Scouts have cherished the link between their two towns for decades, with regular trips from the German Scouts to Wales, and Welsh Scouts to Germany.