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Friday, November 11, 2011

In Honor of All Who Have Served...

Front page of the NY Times on Armistice Day, November 11, 1918.

Today is the anniversary of Armistice Day commemorating the armistice signed between the Allies of WWI and Germany at Compiègne, France in 1918.  It took effect at 11:00 A.M. in the morning - the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month".  While this reflects the ceasefire on the Western Front, hostilities continued across the Russian Empire and parts of the Ottoman Empire among other areas.

Canadians in downtown Toronto celebrate in 1918.

After WWII, the name was changed to Veterans Day in the U.S.  It is known as Remembrance Day in the British Commonwealth, and remains Armistice Day in Belgium and France.  It is customary to observe two minutes of silence at 11:00 A.M. local time to honor the millions of people who died in the war.

President Eisenhower on June 1, 1954 signing HR7786,
which changed the name of Armistice Day to Veterans Day.

The red remembrance poppy became a symbol of Remembrance Day.  These poppies grew in profusion across Flanders in some of the worst battlefields in WWI.  The poem "In Flanders Fields" inspired the symbol, although it is not definitively known who wrote it.

Peace is the most desirous state in the world, and everyone honors those who fought and gave their lives for it.  Today is a unique day, as it is 11/11/11.  So at 11:00 A.M. on 11/11/11, we should all observe the customary silence.  Two minutes of silence is little compensation, but throw your heart and mind into it and give thanks to those who sacrificed their lives in all wars.  And pray for worldwide peace.

Images courtesy of Wikipedia.

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