On Monday, November 12, the Permanent Observer Mission of the Sovereign Order of Malta, together with the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the UN, Mountbatten Institute and the Priory in the USA of the Order of St. John, held a concert in commemoration of the Centenary of the End of World War I.
For the occasion, the UN Staff Symphony Orchestra of the United Nations Staff Recreation Council, conducted by Dr. Predrag Vasić together with the UN Choral Society and supported by soloists from the operatic community in New York did a special performance of Mozart’s Requiem in D Minor as well as his Ave Verum and Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings.
It is the fundamental mission of the Order of Malta, and has been for over 900 years, to serve the poor and sick, irrespective of nationality, ethnicity or religion. True to this, many representatives and volunteers of the Order witnessed firsthand the horrors of World War I, as they helped tend to the wounded, both military and civilian, through a network of mobile clinics, usually traveling by train from place to place. Today, with over 13,500 members and 80,000 volunteers, the Order operates medical and other facilities in 120 countries.
Through experiences like these, accumulated throughout over 9 decades of work, the Order has a special devotion to the ideals of the United Nations and its founding principle, the prevention of war.
On November 11, 2018, at 11 am, the world marked the monumental moment when an armistice was signed between those nations that had participated in World War I, a conflict that cost 20 million lives, half of them civilian victims, and that left as many people wounded and suffering.
Unfortunately, one hundred years on, mankind continues to face huge challenges and danger, many of those unimaginable in 1918. Therefore we want to see the centenary of the conclusion of World War I as an opportunity to both remember the sacrifice of the citizens of nation states engaged in conflict and to affirm our collective commitment to peace and tolerance and embraces the dedication of those who have worked globally for peace and security and recalls those of all nationalities who lost their lives through conflict. It is an opportunity to ponder lessons learnt, to honor the memory of those who have died in war and conflict on all continents, and to recommit ourselves through multilateral cooperation to prevent the scourge of war and to restore and build peace.
Watch the entire concert HERE.