Friday, November 11, 2016
The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month
On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of the year 1918, fighting ceased between the Allied Nations and the Central Powers, ending “the war to end all wars.”
The Allied Countries suffered over 5 million military causalities, over 2 million civilian causalities and nearly 13 million wounded. If you remember your world history class, the Allied Forces included: Great Britain, Canada, United States, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, France, Greece, India, Italy, Serbia and South Africa. Romania, Belgium, Montenegro and Portugal, though considered Neutral Countries, were also caught up in the conflict.
The Opposition, called the Central Powers, suffered 4 million military casualties, over 5 million civilian casualties and over 8 million military wounded. These countries were: Germany, Bulgaria, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire.
Battles were fought on the now famous Western Front in Europe and in Italy, Gallipoli, Greece, the Balkan Peninsula, Africa, the Middle East, and the Falkland Islands, among others. Indeed, it was a World War.
It also came at a high monetary expense, costing the Allied Powers a total of
$125,690,477,000 and the Central Powers $60,643,160,000. It was the first war ever where more men were killed due to direct conflict instead of from diseases contracted while in battle.
(Disclaimer: Different websites I consulted for these facts didn’t all agree. In fact one website admitted that no one knows the exact statistics, so I gave it my best shot.)
One year later, on November 11, 1919, “Armistice Day” originated as a day to remember this historic and dismal conflict. In 1926, Congress passed a resolution to make this date an annual observance, and in 1938, November 11 became Armistice Day, a national holiday.
Following World War II and the Korean War, it was decided that all veterans of war should be honored, so in 1954, President Eisenhower officially changed the name of the holiday from Armistice Day to Veterans Day.
The purpose of Veterans Day is to honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good. We need to pay tribute to all American veterans, both living and dead, but should especially give thanks to living veterans who served their country honorably during war or peacetime.
Britain, France, Australia and Canada also honor their veterans from World Wars I and II during the month of November. Canada celebrates Remembrance Day and Great Britain has Remembrance Sunday. Many countries observe two minutes of silence at 11 a.m. on November 11.
I was maybe a little long-winded on this post, but I don’t know that the younger generation really has a grasp of what all this country, this world has gone through. How much we have fought and suffered to maintain our freedoms. I thought this was important to share this week.And as I finished all this research, I discovered, as I was writing this yesterday, that November 10th was the 241st birthday of the United State Marine Corp. Semper Fi.