2014-08-01 11:42 PM
World War I, as we have come to know it, erupted in all its horrific might on Aug. 4, 1914, when Germany invaded neutral Belgium and Britain declared war. Five weeks after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the battle lines were taking shape across Europe, pitting Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire against Britain, France and Russia. Most were convinced it would be over by Christmas, yet it lasted more than four years, leaving unseen death and destruction it its wake. Europe, and the world, would be changed forever, and the legacy of the Great War lasts to this day.
An intense day of remembrance including former allies and erstwhile foes is scheduled to begin on Monday at 0800 GMT (3 a.m. EST). Here are our coverage plans:
WWI-GREAT WAR STARTS
LIEGE/SAINT-SYMPHORIEN/LONDON -- British and German leaders will gather in this intimate cemetery where former foes lie buried in plots alongside one another for a ceremony showing that time can heal wounds; that enmity can turn to friendship. For Britain -- represented by Prime Minister David Cameron, Prince William and Princess Kate -- the cemetery carries special significance as it contains, separated by a few footsteps and by 9 million other dead soldiers over four years, the first Commonwealth casualty of the war and one of the last. By Raf Casert. UPCOMING: 800 words by 0800 GMT (3 a.m. EST) Monday, photos, video; updates throughout the day from 0900 GMT (4 a.m. EST) after morning ceremonies in Liege, Belgium, and including ceremonies from Glasgow and London.
Also planned in the coming days:
WWI-GREAT WAR STARTS -- British Pvt. John Parr set off on his reconnaissance bike on the lookout for German troops amid the rolling farmland and woods south of Brussels in August 1914. It was the last anyone saw of 'Ole Man' Parr, the first Commonwealth soldier to die on the Western Front of World War I. Another British private, George Ellison, survived the horrific slaughter of the Somme and Passchendaele and came back to the Belgian pastures, where he was shot and killed on Nov. 11, 1918 -- the last day of the war. Now, Parr and Ellison lie separated by a few footsteps -- and by 9 million dead soldiers over four years -- in the cemetery of Saint Symphorien. By Raf Casert. SENT FRIDAY: 800 words, photos, video.
WWI-VINTAGE WAR PLANES: World War I is re-enacted in the skies above the Rhinebeck Aerodrome on summer Sundays. A not-for-profit group in the Hudson Valley is on a mission to maintain and fly vintage aircraft -- especially the rickety-looking planes from the war that began 100 years ago. By Michael Hill. SENT FRIDAY: 550 words, photos, video.
WWI-FRANCE-- Germany's President, Joachim Gauck, will join French President Francois Hollande in Alsace to mark the 100th anniversary of the declaration of war. The ceremony takes place at the Hartmannswillerkopf memorial in the Vosges Mountains. Almost 30,000 soldiers from both sides died in a series of battles for control of high ground overlooking the Rhine Valley. UPCOMING: 400 words by 1400 GMT (9 a.m. EST) Sunday, photos, video.
File photos will be moved in advance of the commemorations for use throughout. A WWI Centenary Timeline of archival photos is available in AP Images.
The AP will have a still photographer at events in Vieil Armand, France; Liege and Mons in Belgium; Glasgow, Scotland, and London. The AP will distribute pool photography from the ceremony in Liege and Mons, Belgium.
LIEGE/COINTE/MONS -- AP will offer LIVE and packaged video from across Belgium on Monday. AP will be LIVE as VIPs assemble at the Abbaye Saint-Laurent in Liege, before a commemoration service at the Memorial Inter-Allies in Cointe, where Belgian and British royals will speak alongside the presidents of France and Germany. AP will also cover sidebar events, including German President Joachim Gauck's visit to Leuven University and French President Francois Hollande's reception at Liege's Hotel de Ville. The day's events will conclude with a LIVE staged event in the presence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the St. Symphorien cemetery, near Mons.
In addition, the following video stories will be available to Horizons customers:
--Saturday: WWI-TIMELINE -- Outlining the events that led to World War I 100 years ago.
--Sunday: WWI ITALY -- Trench warfare in Italy.
--Monday: WWI-UK Nurses -- The crucial roles of nurses in World War I.
--Tuesday: WWI-PLASTIC SURGERY -- Terrible disfigurement leads to the birth of plastic surgery.
--Wednesday: WWI-SHELL SHOCK -- Soldiers traumatized by the horrors of WWI.
--Thursday: WWI-ORTHOPAEDIC INNOVATIONS -- Terrible injuries prompt development of medical devices.
--Friday, Aug. 8: WWI-GAS -- Poisonous gas was used to terrorize soldiers in the trenches.
--Saturday, Aug. 9: WWI-WOMEN -- The role of women in society was changed by WWI.
--WWI: TECHNOLOGY THEN AND NOW: Technologies that were invented or first adapted for use in the war - like the tank and the airplane - are staples of any modern army. Moved.
--WWI: LIFE IN THE TRENCHES: Soldiers in World War I fought from a vast network of trenches and tunnels that stretched across the entire Western Front. Moved.
--WWI PHOTO ESSAY: Interactive photo essay covers key technologies developed during World War I, from camouflage to tactics and weaponry. Available to all subscribers. Moved.