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Mar. 17, 2020
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"The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our life-time," said Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey to a friend on the eve of Britain's entry into the First World War.
Observing from afar as the coronavirus pandemic ravages the Old Continent, Grey's words return to mind. And as the Great War changed Europe forever, the COVID-19 pandemic seems to be changing the way European peoples see each other.
"All for one and one for all!" These were the words by which "The Three Musketeers" of Alexandre Dumas lived their lives.
This was the ideal upon which the EU and NATO were built. An attack against one is an attack against all. The Schengen Agreement by which citizens of Europe are as free to travel through the countries of their continent as Americans are to travel from Maryland to Virginia is rooted in that ideal.
Yet, suddenly, all that seems to belong to yesterday.