Friday, November 11, 2005

Veterans' Day

No. 862’3
Ordre Général No. 318

Xe Armee
3e Bureau

AuQGA 30 July 18

Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers and soldiers of the Third United States Army Corp :

Shoulder to shoulder with your French comrades you were thrown into the counter-offensive battle which commenced on the 18th of July. You rushed to the attack as to a festival. Your magnificent courage completely routed a surprised enemy and your indomitable tenacity checked the counter-attacks of his fresh divisions. You have shown yourself worthy sons of your great country…
(Colonel John W. Thomason, Jr., writing about the US Marines at Soissons, France. ©1925, Scribners.)

Today is the anniversary of the armistice (coincidentally, “four score and seven years ago”) which ended World War I, after four years of bloody, awful conflict. It was signed by the Allies and the Germans in 1918, in the Forest of Compiegne.

The hostilities of the First World War ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, 87 years ago. The day began with the laying down of arms, the sudden outbreak of parades, the closing of places of business. People everywhere cheered and thought, this is the end of war – it is too horrible to ever happen again.

The “war to end all wars” didn’t end them. The name was changed to Veterans’ Day by Act of Congress in 1954.

Join me in a thought for American soldiers and sailors who are serving throughout the world, defending our freedoms.

And pardon me for some personal thoughts. Paul Hirsch Baron, Emmanuel Katz, Thomas Biddulph, Sam Slavik, AJ Smith, Paul Hoven. More names from the Gunroom (you know who you are): Paul Johnson, KCMO, and “Charlezzzzz” Muñoz. Herman Eisenberg. Norman Sabel. Hoi Nguyen and Ellis Alexander. Then Phil Slavik and Alan Vera. Nathanael Charles Yonka, Jr. And me.

If you want to add some names of your own (as Peter Yonka has), send a comment - it'll be very welcome.

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