In 1914, 104 years ago, World War I [ The Great War ] began, in a conflict with Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire [ Central Powers ] fighting against the allied nations, Great Britain, France, Russia, Italy, Romania, Japan and the United States of America [ Allied Powers. ] Four main causes were at play — Militarism, Alliances, Imperialism, and Nationalism — as it grew into a war involving 32 countries.
After four years of war, with the death of more than 9 million soldiers, approximately 21 million more wounded, an estimated 10 million civilian casualties, the political disruption that contributed to the fall of Germany, Austria-Hungary, Russia and Turkey, massive social upheaval, deadly global pandemics [ which killed an estimated 20 to 50 million people, ] and many other consequences, as the Central Powers were unraveling in all fronts by the fall of 1918, the end of the war was finally being reached.
The Turks signed a treaty with the Allies in late October, Austria-Hungary reached armistice on November 4, and Germany was finally forced to seek an armistice on November 11, 1918, marking the end of World War I in the public imagination.
The following year, in 1919, at the Paris Peace Conference, also known as the Versailles Peace Conference, involving diplomats from 32 countries and nationalities, major post-war decisions were made, including the creation of the League of Nations [ designed and proposed under president Woodrow Wilson’s leadership, ] and five peace treaties. The Treaty of Versailles, signed on 28 June 1919, was the most important treaty, officially ending the war between Germany and the Allied Powers and officially marking the end of World War I.
In the following decades, anger and resentment of the treaty festered in Germany and extremists capitalized on these emotions to gain power, in a process that led to the opposite direction the Versailles Peace Conference was seeking to prevent — World War II [ September 1, 1939 – September 2, 1945. ] The hostilities of the second global war claimed the lives of approximately 15 million in battle, an estimated number of 25 million battle wounded, and about 45 million civilian casualties.
With the failure of the League of Nations, a new intergovernmental organization was planed and proclaimed under the leadership of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941, and declared by the Allies of World War II in 1942, in order to replace the ineffective league. The United Nations officially came into existence on October 24, 1945, with 26 nations.
One year after the end of World War I, on November 1919, the U.S. President Woodrow Wilson issued a message to his countrymen expressing what he felt November 11, as the first commemoration of Armistice Day, meant to Americans. The United States Congress adopted a resolution on June 4, 1926, requesting that President Calvin Coolidge issue annual proclamations calling for the observance of November 11 with appropriate ceremonies. A Congressional Act approved May 13, 1938, made November 11 in each year a legal holiday: “a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as ‘Armistice Day’.” Approximately 35 years later from first commemoration, in 1954, after World War II, Congress changed the name of the November 11th Armistice Day holiday to Veterans Day, rededicating the day to the memory of the service personnel of all wars of the United States. President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued an official proclamation directing citizens and the federal government to observe the day and suggesting that, “… all veterans, all veterans’ organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose.”
“… I may be one of the few people in this room who remembers when Veterans Day was called Armistice Day, commemorating the armistice that ended the First World War on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of the year in 1918. And I might add, I not only remember when it was called that day, I guess we may be the only ones that were on the streets in the wild celebration of the first and actual Armistice Day when it was signed.
Armistice Day honored those who gave their lives in “the war to end all wars” — a day of hope that they had not given their lives in vain. But within a few years, and in spite of an impressive effort on the part of the Western democracies to limit arms and to outlaw war, aggressors rearmed and war came again. Ironically, Armistice Day was made a legal holiday in the United States in 1938, just 1 year before a second and more terrible conflagration swept across Europe.” — President Ronald Reagan
Great Britain, France, Australia and Canada also commemorate the veterans of World War I and II on or near November 11th. Canada has Remembrance Day, while Britain has Remembrance Sunday [ the second Sunday of November. ] In Europe, Great Britain and the Commonwealth countries, it is common to observe two minutes of silence at 11 a.m. every November 11.
Our warriors, the military men and women who serve and protect our freedoms in United States of America are from all walks of life — parents, children, grandparents, friends, neighbors, coworkers, … The veteran population of the United States is composed of approximately 16.1 million living veterans who served during at least one war. | 5.2 million veterans who served in peacetime. | 2 million veterans are women. | 7 million veterans served during the Vietnam War. | 5.5 million veterans served during the Persian Gulf War. | Of the 16 million Americans who served during World War II, about 558,000 are still alive. | 2 million veterans served during the Korean War. | 6 million veterans served in peacetime.
On this November 11, 2018, the centennial of the end of the Great War — the first global war in history — we pay special respect and we disgustingly honor all those who bravely fought and all those who are currently engaged in the righteous cause of protecting and advancing our freedoms. We praise, commend, celebrate and bless every sacred warrior who lived and live with the conviction and hope that we are building an ignoble world characterized by Justice, Wisdom, Courage and Fortitude — the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth, an expression of our Truest Selves as Sons and Daughters of a Great-K[Q]WML-God, an extension of the Truest and Highest Power which mysteriously, but not beyond our given ability to read the mind of the Great Spirit and to work with It, oversees and guides the affairs of nations and directs the course of history.
No words can capture the meaning and significance of our warriors’ lives. No words can convey the depth of our thoughts and feelings of gratitude for the immense acts of courage and sacrifices made for the highest and greatest cause — True Freedom. Those of us, who believe and have experienced the “other side,” know without a shadow of a doubt that the efforts and deeds of our eternal warriors were and are not in vain, that the epic and ongoing conflict to establish the True Axial Kingdom of Heaven on Earth will culminate into a glorious New Earth, Imago Mundi. We know that we are spiritual beings [ Imago Dei ] living in temporary physical bodies and that the lives given by our Creator do not end with the disconnection from the current state of our physical bodies [ all things will return. ] We also know that our Eternal Creator, King-Warrior-Magician-Lover, is perfectly just and will avenge and reward every hero, every warrior, … in His perfect timing [ now or on the unfolding of eternity in time, ] and according to the council of His sovereign will.
Have a great Armistice Day/Veterans Day weekend and remember, we are responsible before our Creator for life on Earth and what we do in life echoes in eternity.
ADDRESS TO FELLOW-COUNTRYMEN
The White House, November 11, 1919
A year ago today our enemies laid down their arms in accordance with an armistice which rendered them impotent to renew hostilities, and gave to the world an assured opportunity to reconstruct its shattered order and to work out in peace a new and juster set of international relations. The soldiers and people of the European Allies had fought and endured for more than four years to uphold the barrier of civilization against the aggressions of armed force. We ourselves had been in the conflict something more than a year and a half.
With splendid forgetfulness of mere personal concerns, we remodeled our industries, concentrated our financial resources, increased our agricultural output, and assembled a great army, so that at the last our power was a decisive factor in the victory. We were able to bring the vast resources, material and moral, of a great and free people to the assistance of our associates in Europe who had suffered and sacrificed without limit in the cause for which we fought.
Out of this victory there arose new possibilities of political freedom and economic concert. The war showed us the strength of great nations acting together for high purposes, and the victory of arms foretells the enduring conquests which can be made in peace when nations act justly and in furtherance of the common interests of men.
To us in America the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service, and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of nations.
Proclamation—Armistice Day, 1926 | November 03, 1926
By the President of the United States of America
Whereas the 11th of November, 1918, marked the cessation of the most destructive, sanguinary, and far-reaching war in human annals; and
Whereas it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations; and
Whereas, by a concurrent resolution, passed by the Senate on May 25, 1926, and by the House of Representatives on June 4, 1926, the President was requested to issue a proclamation “calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11th, and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches or other places, with appropriate ceremonies expressive of our gratitude for peace and our desire for the continuance of friendly relations with all other peoples”:
Now, Therefore, I, Calvin Coolidge, President of the United States of America, in pursuance of the said concurrent resolution, do hereby order that the flag of the United States be displayed on all Government buildings on November 11,1926, and do invite the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies expressive of our gratitude for peace and our desire for the continuance of friendly relations with all other peoples.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the great seal of the United States.
Done at the city of Washington this 3d day of November, in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and twenty-six, and of the Independence of the United States, the one hundred and fifty-first.
By the President:
FRANK B. KELLOGG, Secretary of State.
Veterans Day Proclamation | October 8, 1954
By the President of the United States of America
WHEREAS it has long been our custom to commemorate November 11, the anniversary of the ending of World War I, by paying tribute to the heroes of that tragic struggle and by rededicating ourselves to the cause of peace; and
WHEREAS in the intervening years the United States has been involved in two other great military conflicts, which have added millions of veterans living and dead to the honor rolls of this Nation; and
WHEREAS the Congress passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1928 (44 Stat. 1962), calling for the observance of November 11 with appropriate ceremonies, and later provided in an act approved May 13, 1938 (52 Stat. 351), that the eleventh of November should be a legal holiday and should be known as Armistice Day; and
WHEREAS in order to expand the significance of that commemoration and in order that a grateful nation might pay appropriate homage to the veterans of all its wars who have contributed so much to the preservation of this Nation, the Congress, by an act approved June 1, 1954 (68 Stat. 168), changed the name of the holiday to Veterans Day;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER, President of the United States of America, do hereby call upon all of our citizens to observe Thursday, November 11, 1954, as Veterans Day. On that day let us solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly, on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom, and let us reconsecrate ourselves to the task of promoting and enduring peace so that their efforts shall not have been in vain. I also direct the appropriate officials of the Government to arrange for the display of the flag of the United States on all public buildings on Veterans Day.
In order to insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, veterans’ organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose. Toward this end, I am designating the Administrator of Veterans’ Affairs as Chairman of a Veterans Day National Committee, which shall include such other persons as the Chairman may select, and which will coordinate at the national level necessary planning for the observance. I am also requesting the heads of all departments and agencies of the Executive branch of the Government to assist the National Committee in every way possible.
IN WITNESS THEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and cause the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed.
DONE at the City of Washington this eighth day of October in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and [SEAL] fifty-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and seventy-ninth.
DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER
By the President:
JOHN FOSTER DULLES,
Secretary of State.
[F.R. Doc. 54-8050; filed, Oct. 11, 1954; 10:43 a. m.]
Ravel’s Bolero | European Union Youth Orchestra performing for world leaders at Armistice Ceremony under the Arc de Triomphe | Paris 11/11/2018 | Chief Conductor Vasily Petrenko