In her book A Terrible Beauty: The Art of Canada at War, author Heather Robertson writes:
“They died for us, for their homes and families and friends, for a collection of traditions they cherished and a future they believed in… The meaning of their sacrifice rests with our collective national consciousness; our future is their monument.”
On November 11th, 1918, an armistice between the Allies and Germany was signed at 5am in the railway carriage of Ferdinand Fochs, the French commander of the Allied forces. Six hours later the armistice took effect, forcing the Germans to relinquish control of all invaded countries within two weeks and surrender 1,700 planes and 30,000 firearms. It ended World War One’s four years of bloody battles, which claimed the lives of over 17 million soldiers and civilians.
On November 7th, 1919, England’s King George V made a proclamation that two minutes of silence be observed on what would become Armistice Day, stating, “All locomotion should cease, so that, in perfect stillness, the thoughts of everyone may be concentrated on reverent remembrance of the glorious dead.”
Following the end of World War II in 1945 Armistice Day became Remembrance Day for most Allied nations, although in America it is now known as Veterans Day. No matter the name, the message is the same: never forget those who have fought for the liberties that help make free nations great.
Story by Jay Moon