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100 years after WWI, there is still much to learn: UBC professor

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Summary

100 years after World War I ended, there's still interest in the Great War

Though most don't know someone who fought, it's a part of our cultural memory

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) –¬†One hundred years after the end of the First World War, few people will have personally known someone who served in that conflict.

But interest in the Great War hasn’t waned, according to UBC assistant history professor Heidi Tworek. She says we’re still discovering a lot about that period in history.

“There have been recent films in Canada which have explored things like how Chinese labourers were brought through Canada to work as labour core on the Western front,” she says.

WATCH: The Great War and Alberta

And because of anti-Asian sentiment in Canada, it’s taken about 100 years to fully understand their role in the war.

There’s also what she calls “lived memory” that is keeping history alive, that is, cultural memory kept alive through memorials, like those at cenotaphs.

“Canada has invested a lot more in terms of trying to promote that cultural memory or through education in school than, say, the United States,” she says.

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Research is also uncovering how the Spanish flu was spread during and after combat.

“All these soldiers go home and there are mass celebrations on the street, so of course, the flu or any disease can spread much faster,” Tworek says.

That’s just one example of new research they’re doing about the war, and how much there is still left to uncover.