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WWI CENTENARY: Cost of war (1) infographic
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Human and economic costs of World War I

Graphic News

November 11, 2018 -- The Great War claimed the lives of 10 million fighting men and up to 12 million civilians. The “war to end all wars” cost an estimated $185 billion at the time, or $4.7 trillion in 2017 dollars.

In comparison the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan since 2001 had claimed 370,000 lives by August 2016, according to the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University, while the cost of the post 9/11 wars to the U.S. alone is estimated at around $5.6 trillion to date.

The stone structure seen in the graphic, called the Cenotaph, is located at Whitehall in London, England and was built at the end of the First World War. It is now the United Kingdom’s national war memorial for the dead of the British Empire (later the Commonwealth) of both World Wars and the British military in later wars. An annual service of remembrance is held at the site on Remembrance Sunday in November each year, the closest Sunday to Armistice Day, November 11.

The word cenotaph, according to Webster’s dictionary, is derived from the Greek kenos taphos, meaning “empty tomb”. A cenotaph is a monument, sometimes in the form of a tomb, to a person or group of persons buried elsewhere. The Cenotaph in London is 35 feet high (11m) and was designed by the architect Edwin Lutyens. Built in Portland stone, it is a series of rectangular blocks progressively set-back, rising to an empty tomb at the top.

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