It is that time of year again. At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the guns along the Western Front finally fell silent. (Well, most of them did anyway, as the last guns to be stilled did so only by nightfall). The Germans had asked for an immediate cease fire at a 5 a.m. conference, but the Allies elected the 11 a.m. time. Some 2,378 men died that morning for little apparent gain other than the symmetry of the 11-11-11 ceasefire time.
The 11th of November was soon marked by many nations who had participated in the blood bath of the Great War as Armistice Day, a day to remember the 9 million soldiers, sailors, and marines who had lost their lives in the “War to End All Wars” and to honor the survivors. We promised ourselves never again would we go down war’s dark path, a promise not kept, as the Great War was followed by a greater war. Our technological progress made war more deadly as our moral progress stagnated.