One hundred years ago, fateful decisions were made that led to the start of the First World War and changed the course of history -- decisions that ushered in four years of bloodshed in which lives were uprooted and transformed forever. Almost 10 million men from across the world left their families to go into battle, never to return, with the millions more who served all bearing the scars of their service.
Along with Ed Miliband, I wrote a letter this week to the Unknown Soldier who, since 1922, has stood on Platform One at Paddington Station in solemn testament to the millions who made the ultimate sacrifice during the First World War.
Thousands of members of the public have contributed their thoughts to this fantastic and innovative project, a fitting collection of personal memorials and tributes to the fallen.
This week I will also attend an international memorial event at Mons in Belgium where royalty, the Armed Forces, families of the fallen, members of the public and politicians, including the Prime Minister, will gather as one to reflect and to pay their respects.
-- Vernon Coaker