1920 — Construction of the permanent Cenotaph in London begins

Edwin Lutyens was one of the greatest British architects, possibly the greatest of his era. His design for the Cenotaph was originally intended to be a temporary structure, but became so beloved of the British people that it was replaced with a permanent version made of white stone. Its design has often been copied elsewhere in Britain and in other Commonwealth nations, and it is the centre of Remembrance Day events each November 11.

Like all cenotaphs, its design is that of an empty tomb, a memorial to ‘the Unknown Soldier’ – to all those who lost not merely their lives but their identities, but also to all those who served. It is sometimes referred to as “The Glorious Dead.”

Referenced in:
Think Back and Lie of England — Skyclad

1969 – Jan Palach commits suicide to protest the invasion of Czechoslovakia

Jan Palach was a twenty year old student in Prague when he set himself on fire. His action was intended as a protest of the brutal suppression of the Prague Spring the previous August, when Soviet tanks rolled into Czechoslovakia to put an end to the liberalisaton that was taking place under the government of Alexander Dub?ek.

Palach spent three days in excrutiating pain before he died of his injuries on January 19, 1969. In death, he became a martyr to the cause of Czechoslovakia liberation (and liberation in general). When the Velvet Revolution freed the Czechs and Slovaks from Soviet rule in 1989, Palach was one of those honoured with memorials by the new government.

Referenced in:
Euromess — Jean-Jacques Burnel
Nuuj Helde — The Janse Bagge Bend
Va De Du Jesus — Åge Aleksandersen
Pochodnie (Torches) — Jacek Kaczmarski
The Funeral of Jan Palach — The Zippo Band