At eleven a.m. on November 11, 1918, a cease-fire went into effect in France between the Allied Powers and Germany, effectively ending “The War to End All Wars.”
This day was thereafter known as Armistice Day in the United States and Remembrance Day in the British Commonwealth. For many years, a moment of silence was observed or bells tolled at “the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.” This practice has gradually fallen into disuse as the “Great War” fades in memory.
The last American veteran of World War I is believed to have died in February 2007. Retired Corporal Harold V. Ramsey passed away in Portland, Oregon, one month before his 109th birthday.
In 1954, President Eisenhower and the Congress changed Armistice Day to Veterans Day to honor all veterans, living and dead.
“All Quiet on the Western Front” is a novel by Erich Maria Remarque, himself a German veteran of World War I, which chronicles the horrors of that war. A best-seller, the novel was made into an acclaimed motion picture in 1930. During the 1930’s, the Nazis banned and burned the book.
November 11, 2007 Sunday at 2:30 pm