Ar­mistice edi­to­ri­als

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - EDITORIAL -

Guardian edi­to­ri­als helped Is­lan­ders fol­low the Ar­mistice ne­go­ti­a­tions that ended the First World War, 100 years ago. It was widely-re­ported that hos­til­i­ties ended on Nov. 7 but the Ger­mans changed their minds, hold­ing out for bet­ter terms. The ar­mistice was fi­nally signed on Mon­day, Nov. 11, 1918.

Be­low are edited edi­to­ri­als that ap­peared in The Guardian lead­ing up to, and im­me­di­ately fol­low­ing, the end of the Great War.

Peace, Blessed Peace (No­vem­ber 8, 1918)

Four years, three months and three days in the deep dark shadow of war -- and then, sud­denly the full blaze of a glo­ri­ous peace, peace with vic­tory, peace with hon­our. The tran­si­tion yes­ter­day at noon when the word came, was over­whelm­ing. The fire bells, the church bells and steam whis­tles an­nounced joy­ful news for which the peo­ple were more or less pre­pared dur­ing the past few days and in a few min­utes the streets were thronged with cheer­ing, shout­ing, flag wav­ing crowds, toot­ing and flagbe­decked au­to­mo­biles, and car­riages.

As the full sig­nif­i­cance of the word peace, a word that for four long years had been buried un­der the de­bris and the sor­row of war, came to be more fully re­al­ized by the masses that thronged the streets, there were scenes of re­joic­ing such as Char­lot­te­town had never ex­pe­ri­enced. Suf­fice it for the mo­ment that peace is once more in the earth and let the peo­ple re­joice.

Not pre­ma­ture, but . . . (No­vem­ber 9, 1918)

The news so ju­bi­lantly cel­e­brated on Thurs­day not only in Char­lot­te­town and through­out the prov­ince, while in a man­ner pre­ma­ture, was well worth the splen­did en­thu­si­asm evoked.

The facts, so far as the tele­graphic re­ports to­day can be in­ter­preted are that the Ger­man Gov­ern­ment asked that a del­e­ga­tion of plenipo­ten­tiaries, armed with au­thor­ity to con­clude an ar­mistice, be per­mit­ted to pass through the lines for a con­fer­ence. Whether the ar­mistice has been signed or not has not been of­fi­cially an­nounced ei­ther in Ber­lin, Lon­don, Paris or Wash­ing­ton. Un­of­fi­cial tele­grams an­nounced its com­ple­tion. Of­fi­cial word may come at any mo­ment. Thurs­day’s cel­e­bra­tion was by no means pre­ma­ture. It was a mag­nif­i­cent re­hearsal of a grander and more glo­ri­ous cel­e­bra­tion that is to come off one of these days and for which full prepa­ra­tion should be made.

Ger­many’s Plight (No­vem­ber 11, 1918)

That Ger­many is go­ing to pieces is now very ev­i­dent. Rev­o­lu­tion for which the pop­u­lace has been ripen­ing for months if not for years has as­sumed the pro­por­tions of a gen­eral con­fla­gra­tion which even peace it­self when it comes will scarcely be able to over­come.

After all is not this in the na­ture of jus­tice? Had an ar­mistice been signed last Thurs­day and hos­til­i­ties had ceased, the Ger­man peo­ple would have got off much more eas­ily than many peo­ple be­lieved they de­served. That they de­serve some­thing at least of what they have in­flicted upon oth­ers, can only be re­garded as just retri­bu­tion.

It may be in­hu­man to say that it is noth­ing more than they de­serve, but Ger­many has driven the world into this frame of mind and this is per­haps Ger­many’s great­est crime against hu­man­ity. She has taught the world to hate and in this she has hurt the soul of the world.

The End of War (No­vem­ber 12, 1918)

The good news that the Ger­man plenipo­ten­tiaries had signed the ar­mistice terms and that hos­til­i­ties had ceased came not al­to­gether un­ex­pect­edly yes­ter­day morn­ing; our Sun­day tele­grams leav­ing no doubt that the end of the war was at hand.

The Tele­phone Com­pany has the Guardian’s and the peo­ple’s thanks for the first an­nounce­ment which came at 6 o’clock from Hal­i­fax as fol­lows: “Ar­mistice signed on field of bat­tle at 5 o’clock this morn­ing.” This was con­firmed by the Tele­graph Of­fice in a dis­patch filed by our own cor­re­spon­dent in Toronto at 2 a.m. A spe­cial edi­tion of the Guardian was is­sued at 7 a.m. and the Mayor had or­dered the fire bell to be rung. The Guardian tele­phoned the glo­ri­ous news to all the prin­ci­pal cen­tres through­out the Is­land. Our dis­patches to­day give de­tails that the ar­mistice terms were signed at mid­night, lo­cal time, and that hos­til­i­ties ceased at 7 o’clock lo­cal time. Thus ends the great­est war in his­tory.

The of­fi­cial an­nounce­ment yes­ter­day was re­ceived with great demon­stra­tions of joy and glad­ness. Fire and church bells rang ju­bi­lantly, the city was red with flags and bunt­ing, a hol­i­day was pro­claimed, prac­ti­cally all busi­nesses sus­pended and the peo­ple gave them­selves up to joy­ous cel­e­bra­tion of what they re­al­ized was the great­est event in the his­tory of the world.

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