We Remember Armistice Day… 93 Years Ago Today

Posted on Nov 11 2011 - 1:00am by Harrison

I’ve always been against the renaming of Armistice Day into Veteran’s Day… now nobody remembers why we celebrate this holiday on November 11th.

We celebrate November 11th because on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month World War I came to an official close.  Anywhere from 15 million to 17 million military personnel and civilians died in the conflict.

To put these numbers in perspective, that amounted to 4.29% of France’s population, 3.82% of Germany’s population, and a whopping 13.72% of the Ottoman Empire’s population.  America got away with 116,708 soldiers killed or 0.13% of our population.

The world was completely re-made, empires fell, nations’ borders were redrawn, colonies were lost, and the stage was set for WWII.

Europe places more importance on Armistice Day than does the United States and England’s Mail Online has some stunning photos of the battlefields… then and now.

I remember when I was growing up there was an elderly man who lived up the street from me and he was blind in one eye.  It was towards the very end of his life and he would spend a lot of time in his small backyard cutting the grass or raking leaves.  He showed me why he was blind in one eye… the gas mask he was issued was in his hand all those years later and there was a crack in the lens.  He said the poison gas had made it into his mask and blinded him.

He must have died 25 years ago now.

This reminds me of a quote by Herodotus:

In peace, sons bury their fathers.  In war, fathers bury their sons.

On this day I feel very fortunate to not only have been born in that greatest nation the world has ever seen, the United States of America, but to have lived my entire life and never seen war with my own eyes and, for that, I give my thanks to the brave soldiers who have sacrificed so much in order to give me this gift.

Otto Dix 'Sturmtruppe geht unter Gas vor (Stormtroops advancing under gas ' 1924.")

5 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Steve Dennis November 11, 2011 at 3:10 AM -

    Great post Harrison! And thank you to all who have served.
    Steve Dennis recently posted..Happy Veterans Day to all who have served

  2. Matt November 11, 2011 at 6:58 AM -

    I’m with Steve. It’s a great one.
    Matt recently posted..Occupy Portland: Occupod Arrested for Molotov Cocktails

  3. sharon smith November 11, 2011 at 11:27 AM -

    You’re sweet for remembering your neighbor. Very eloquent!

    • Harrison November 11, 2011 at 9:37 PM -

      Though that was the only time I talked with him, he made a big impression on me.

  4. Rodrigo Valenzuela November 11, 2011 at 11:39 PM -


    11-11-11 has created many controversies in the world. Some link it to the current auspicious time while some one refer it to the future astrological events. I was not aware of its historical significance. Thanks for the reminder. I shall share this post with my friends and make them aware.

    Rodrigo Valenzuela recently posted..Consejos : como vestirse para seducir a un hombre