WWI descendants see armistice through prism of personal pain

  • An Australian flag with a koala bear adorns a grave of a soldier at the World War I Australian National Memorial in Villers-Bretonneux, France, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. The memorial walls at the site bear the names of 11,000 missing Australian soldiers who died in France during World War I. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

  • A bagpiper plays from the tower of the World War I Australian National Memorial in Villers-Bretonneux, France, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. The memorial walls at the site bear the names of 11,000 missing Australian soldiers who died in France during World War I. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

  • Undated handout photo from the Kearsey family made available on Sunday Nov. 11, 2018 of Australian soldier William Kearsay. Shrapnel blasted apart the face of William Kearsey, a World War I soldier fighting in Belgium in Australia’s 33rd Battalion. But a friend pulled him from a trench and he survived _ after 28 surgeries to reconstruct his face. Kearsey’s son, Peter, was among hundreds lining the rain-soaked Champs-Elysees Avenue in Paris on Sunday to honor along with world leaders those who fought in the Great War 100 years after it ended. (Kearsey Family via AP)

  • Peter Kearsey poses for a photo in Paris, Sunday Nov. 11, 2018. Kearsay is the son of Australian soldier William Kearsay whose face was badly damaged in World War I while fighting in Belgium with Australia’s 33rd Battalion. He survived _ after 28 surgeries to reconstruct his face. Peter Kearsey, was among hundreds lining the rain-soaked Champs-Elysees Avenue in Paris on Sunday to honor along with world leaders those who fought in the Great War 100 years after it ended. (AP Photo/Elaine Ganley)

  • Undated handout photo from the Kearsey family made available on Sunday Nov. 11, 2018 of Australian soldier William Kearsay after facial reconstruction surgery. Shrapnel blasted apart the face of William Kearsey, a World War I soldier fighting in Belgium in Australia’s 33rd Battalion. But a friend pulled him from a trench and he survived _ after 28 surgeries to reconstruct his face. Kearsey’s son, Peter, was among hundreds lining the rain-soaked Champs-Elysees Avenue in Paris on Sunday to honor along with world leaders those who fought in the Great War 100 years after it ended. (Kearsey Family via AP)

  • A veteran’s medals are worn during a commemorative event to mark the Centennial of the ending of the First World War, in Blackpool, England, Sunday Nov. 11, 2018. The commemorative event marks the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice which ended the First World War. (Danny Lawson/PA via AP)

PARIS — William Kearsey’s war was long over by the time his son ever heard about it.

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