More Remembrance Day cov­er­age,

Montreal Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

A dark and ter­ri­ble cloud which hung over civ­i­liza­tion has lifted and is gone, and men greet anew the light of lib­erty.

On the eve of the 100th an­niver­sary of the ar­mistice that ended the First World War, we re­pub­lish the ed­i­to­rial pub­lished in the Mon­treal Gazette on Nov. 12, 1918:

To­day, af­ter four years of un­ex­am­pled trial and sac­ri­fice, the world is free. The vic­tory for which the Al­lied na­tions have strug­gled so long, have en­dured with such for­ti­tude, which they have bought with so great a price, that vic­tory has come, and it is com­plete. A dark and ter­ri­ble cloud which hung over civ­i­liza­tion has lifted and is gone, and men greet anew the light of lib­erty.

In every Al­lied coun­try, and in neu­tral lands as well, there is re­joic­ing and thanks­giv­ing, be­cause an evil thing has passed and the long night comes to an end. What this gen­er­a­tion has wit­nessed has been with­out ques­tions the great­est cri­sis in the world’s his­tory. The fab­ric of civ­i­liza­tion has been shaken to its foun­da­tions, but it has sur­vived, and it stands now stronger than ever by rea­son of the sac­ri­fices with which it was saved, and the safe­guards with which it has been sur­rounded.

The dark­est hour of this great strug­gle came just be­fore the dawn. There were mo­ments when things were go­ing badly, when it seemed that the cause of the Al­lies was all but lost, and the might would, af­ter all, im­pose its do­min­ion over right. Yet the faith of the Al­lied peo­ples did not wa­ver, and the spirit of the Al­lied armies did not break, and against that dou­ble bar­rier the last great wave of bar­barism bat­tered in vain, spent it­self, and re­ceded.

Since that time there has been a run­ning tide of tri­umph for the Al­lies, end­ing with two suc­cesses of both mil­i­tary and sen­ti­men­tal value. Sedan, whose name ever re­calls the tragedy of 1870, was purged of the Prus­sian by an Amer­i­can army, while Mons, in­dis­sol­ubly as­so­ci­ated with the heroic deeds of the “Old Con­temptibles,” has been taken by Cana­di­ans, a fit­ting cli­max to the splen­did record achieved by Canada’s army.

The ar­mistice, although lim­ited to 30 days, is, in ef­fect, peace. The terms spell ab­so­lute vic­tory for the Al­lies. To Ger­many they are the terms of sur­ren­der. They mean the end of Prus­sian mil­i­tarism. It is not to be a “peace with­out vic­tory,” a “peace by un­der­stand­ing.” It is an over­whelm­ing tri­umph of right. The Al­lies are in a po­si­tion to adopt and en­force what­ever mea­sures they may deem nec­es­sary to make the peace a per­ma­nent one, and the ar­mistice con­di­tions are a suf­fi­cient prom­ise that these mea­sures will be taken . ...

It is a re­sult to war­rant re­joic­ing among the Al­lied peo­ples. It is equally an oc­ca­sion for thanks­giv­ing, and for a tribute of re­spect to the mem­ory of those who went forth un­der the ban­ner of free­dom and will not come again. They stand in silent ranks, a goodly com­pany of valiant men who gave them­selves freely in a great cru­sade, and dy­ing will live for­ever in rev­er­ent af­fec­tion of their coun­try. For those who re­main it is left to turn their sac­ri­fice to good ac­count, and in the words of Lin­coln, “to bind up the na­tion’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the bat­tle, and for his widow and his or­phan; to do all which may achieve and cher­ish a just and last­ing peace among our­selves and with all na­tions.”

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