100 years since WWI Armistice, Re­mem­brance Day re­minds us of cost of war

Iran Daily - - Society -

One hun­dred years ago — on Novem­ber 11, 1918, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month — mil­lions of men laid down their guns.

This was Armistice Day, the end of the First World War, www.mer­ca­tor­net.com re­ported.

Ger­many, the last bel­liger­ent stand­ing among the Cen­tral Pow­ers, had col­lapsed mil­i­tar­ily, eco­nom­i­cally and po­lit­i­cally.

Armistice Day — later known as Re­mem­brance Day — has since been com­mem­o­rated ev­ery year.

On Novem­ber 11, 1918, aboard Mar­shall Fer­di­nand Foch’s train car­riage, a few plenipo­ten­tiaries of Ger­many and the main Al­lied na­tions signed a short doc­u­ment that or­dered a cease­fire, ef­fec­tive from 11:00 a.m. In do­ing so, they put an end to the global car­nage that had started in Au­gust 1914 and had killed more than 10 mil­lion com­bat­ants and six mil­lion civil­ians.

No­tably, though this doc­u­ment stopped com­bat, it did not for­mally end the war. In­deed, Ger­many had sought an armistice in or­der to ne­go­ti­ate a for­mal peace treaty. This peace was se­cured eight months later, on June 28, 1919, at the Paris Peace Con­fer­ence.

The Armistice also didn’t re­solve lo­cal­ized con­flicts re­sult­ing from the war. Th­ese raged on in parts of Eastern Eu­rope and the Mid­dle East through to the early 1920s.

But for most na­tions in­volved in the First World War, the armistice of Novem­ber 11 was the day the fight­ing fi­nally stopped, which is why it has be­come a ma­jor com­mem­o­ra­tive event across the globe.

On the first Armistice Day, Novem­ber 11, 1918, crowds cheered on the streets of Al­lied coun­tries such as Bri­tain, Canada, Aus­tralia, New Zealand, the US, France and Bel­gium. Peo­ple re­joiced at the end­ing of a pe­riod of to­tal mo­bi­liza­tion that had af­fected ev­ery as­pect of their lives, in­flict­ing un­prece­dented hard­ship on sol­diers and civil­ians alike.

But for those who had lost the war, the news of the armistice came as a shock. While some were re­lieved the con­flict had ended, the sud­den col­lapse of the Ger­man, Aus­tro-hun­gar­ian and Ot­toman em­pires pro­vided a breed­ing ground for rev­o­lu­tion­ary move­ments and fur­ther in­ter­nal con­flicts. For them, Armistice Day was a mo­ment of an­guish and bit­ter­ness.

A hun­dred years af­ter the event, Re­mem­brance Day and First World War memo­ri­als still pro­vide a time and place to re­mem­ber those who fought and fell in the con­flict. For the most se­nior cit­i­zens among us, this is their par­ents’ gen­er­a­tion; a past they still live with.

Pub­lished by www.mer­ca­tor­net.com

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