As the celebrations and commemorations of Veterans ensue on this day, there is no more important tale to tell than that of the agreement which ended the “war to end all wars”. It was a bloody, hostile four years in which over 20 million men perished from the Earth with little or no consequence. The mechanization of warfare systematically delivered the ability to slaughter young, robust men in their prime, overtaken by the advances of modern machinery and weaponry. Being far from the actual war zones, handfuls of generals and military leaders, accustomed to 19th century battle-line formations, led men to situations of certain death. They faced rapidly-evolving war technology such as machine guns, chemical gases, and artillery shells. There was no victor of such a war, though the Armistice declared one side victorious and another guilty. This is a mistake which would have horrible repercussions for the world just twenty years later.
It was a time where patriotism and nationalism cried passionately for war, forever ignorant of the greater consequences that all countries would come to bear. It led to the greatest anti-war period in American history, and cautious reluctance elsewhere.
On this 11th minute of the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of the 11th year, we remember the collasal effect of war as it trumps peace. We remember the evil nature of organized and systematic killing, justified by uniforms and flags. We remember the millions of men unable to enjoy the very lives we enjoy ourselves today.
Let this breed a word of caution for the men of the future so willing to resort to force to win over the mindsets of his brothern.