Sunday, November 11, 2018

100 Years Ago An Armistice

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Environmental & Science Education
Edward Hessler

World War I came to an end at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918.

This year is the 100th anniversary of the end of this costly war.  The death toll of WWI is in the millions with some 9 million combat deaths, 21 million soldiers wounded and civilian deaths in the millions.*

Once known as Armistice Day--Remembrance Day in many countries. the United States rededicated November 11 as Veterans Day.

Adam Hochschild, a New Yorker writer, calls attention to how badly the First World War ended.  He writes that "few Germans considered themselves defeated" leading to a festering resentment that contributed to a later war.  "The war," Hochschild writes, "ended as senselessly as it had begun." Commanders knew that firing was to end at 11 am but "thousands of men were killed or maimed during the last six hours of the war for no political or military reason whatever."

The National WWI Museum and Memorial installed Reflections of Hope: Armistice 1918, a grouping of poppies, by artist Ada Koch.

On Receiving the First News of the War by Isaac Rosenberg who was to become known as one of England's finest "trench poets" was one of the victims of WWI. His remains were never found. The poem includes biographical information about him.

Here is another poem, And There Was A Great Calm, by Thomas Hardy on the signing of the armistice. You may link to his biography by placing your cursor on his name.

*In addition to humans, millions of horses, donkeys, and mules were killed. (Note added),

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