Friday, November 11, 2011


On the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month of 1918, the Armistice (cessation of the use of arms and ordinance) on the Western Front took effect. Men did die in action that day. An estimate of 11,000 casualties, that day, is given by the historian Joseph Persico. French military records recorded French deaths that day as happening on the tenth. Who wants to be told their son died on the last day of the war?

That day was also St. Martin's, the Roman soldier who declared before Worms, "I am a soldier of Christ. I cannot fight." Many of the French thought he intervened.

Erich Maria Remarque wrote the novel, Im Westen nichts Neues (All Quiet on the Western Front). The hero, Paul Bäumer, dies in October 1918. Many people are now introduced to that war, by that book. The book has been occasionally banned. There are no combat veterans of that war left alive.

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