World War I Ends – 100 Years Ago Today

For those of you who are under the age of 105 or so, you may not remember the significance of November 11, 1918. At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the Great War ended. At 11:00 that morning, Germany, bereft of manpower and supplies and faced with imminent invasion, signed an armistice agreement with the Allies in a railroad car outside Compiegne, France. The First World War left nine million soldiers dead and some 21 million wounded, with Germany, Russia, Austria-Hungary, France, and Great Britain each losing nearly a million or more lives.

In addition, at least five million civilians died from disease, starvation, or exposure. World War I was known as “the war to end all wars” because of the great slaughter and destruction it caused. Unfortunately, the peace treaty that officially ended the conflict – the Treaty of Versailles of 1919 – forced punitive terms on Germany that destabilized Europe and laid the groundwork for World War II.

That’s how it usually works in this world. Just as man concluded “the war to end all wars,” he laid the foundation for the next World War. It’s not a matter of intention. We mean well. But meaning well and knowing truth are two different things.

As for peace – don’t expect it anytime soon. After all, it was man’s best thinking that got the world in the shape it’s in today.

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