| || Two major conflicts devastated Europe before the words of Victor Hugo (1802–1885) became a prophecy: “No more armies, no more frontiers, a single Continental currency.... The day will come when you will lay down your arms.” Before unifying in peace, Europe had to go through two world wars; World War I cost 8 million lives, and World War II cost 45 million. The Battle of Lorette, from October 1914 to October 1915, in which the French and Germans struggled for possession of the strategic plateau of Artois, shed the blood of more than 100,000 victims on the fields of northern France. This military cemetery commemorates the fallen: 20,000 crosses are aligned across 30 acres, and eight ossuaries hold more than 22,000 unknown soldiers. Hugo also said, “The day will come when the only battlefields will be markets open to commerce and minds open to ideas.” That day has come, but it is a battle whose outcome remains uncertain.
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