A day of remembrance…

On this day, 103 years ago, at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the guns would fall silent in Europe. The War to End All Wars was over.

Nine million soldiers were dead and 21 million more were wounded. Some would suffer all of their lives from their experiences in the trenches and on the Front. At least five million civilians also died from disease, starvation, or exposure caused by the war. Fields and towns would remain No Man’s Land for decades as landmines and unexploded shells littered the landscape.

The cost was unimaginable at the start of the war as old men promised young ones glory and honor and in the end paid them nothing but a hellish misery.

The guns fell silent. The dead even more so. Did they look on in judgment at their sons as the fires of hatred burned and ignited a second world war that was even more savage than the one they had fought? Do they silently watch us now starting war after war, sending them ever more silent dead to watch and judge our actions, our refusal to consider the cost?

I do not know.

But I cannot imagine they will judge lightly today’s old men insisting that young men and women go off to kill and be killed for honor or glory.

Armistice Day or Veteran’s Day, may we stop and consider the cost of war now and forever and let the dead rest in peace by refusing to send any more to join them needlessly.

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