Today was originally know as Armistice Day. It was a commemoration of the cessation of hostilities for the First World War. On the eleventh day of the eleventh month at the eleventh hour the guns fell silent. Only they didn’t, for the Soviet Red Army and the White Army would continue to fight, the Soviets would invade Poland and Poland would invade Ukraine; France would continue its war with the Zaian tribes in Morrocco; the British would continue war with Afghans and Wuziri tribes in the Northwest Frontier; Lithuania would defeat the Soviets and achieve independence; Turkish troops would defeat the French Armenian; the Spartacist revolt would occur in Germany and German armed forces would fight a series of battles with Communist forces; the Irish would once again revolt against British rule. I could continue this list for another fifteen or so items where armed conflict started or continued at the armistice. The United States would occupy Haiti, etc,
So, Armistice day only stopped the mass slaughter being promulgated by incompetent generals on the Western Front. It did not stop wars of conquest or internal revolutions in Europe or lother parts of the world; for example there weremultiple revolts within the Chinese Republic and elsewhere spanning the globe. As it did not stop war elsewhere, the Armistice was only a twenty year “go your corner” instruction to the fighters, who in 1939 would, once again, come out swinging.
For those of you into “Strange” it wasn’t until 1938 that Armistice Day was made a holiday in the United States. Thus we celebrated only one peaceful Armistice Day before the world was once again in a world war.
In 1954 it hardly seemed right that we would commemorate the ending of a war that had not ended all wars as promised. But we could honor all those who had served and would serve in defense of the American ideas of freedom. Thus, a congressional act was signed into law by President Eisenhower who, although a veteran, had never actually been shot at. He’s not alone, for forty percent of military jobs are non-combat positions and of those in combat positions only ten to twenty percent will actually experience combat. Yet, every service member is essential to the ability to defend. I could take almost any non-combat MOS or AFSC and explain how they are essential to war fighting. Suffice to say all military members contribute to the ability of the U.S. Armed Forces to defend the United States. Thus all who served should be “Thanked” on Veterans Day. SO, THANK YOU for Your Service. “This We’ll Defend;” “Not Self but Country;” “Semper FI;” “Semper Paratus;” Aim High-Fly-Fight-Win.” (I guess the Air Force is into firing warning shots) It’s a joke, get it, Aim High? Man you’re a tough crowd today.
I did know Veterans day was originally the date for the Armistice at the end of WW1 but I did not know how limited it was. Thanks for the information. I always enjoy your posts.