Armistice Day – The 11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month 1918

Graphical Record of the End of the War. Gunfire was ongoing up until the last minute before 11am 11 November 1918.

1 November 1918
On the Front

Mom and Dad:

“Soldier Bill” in souvenir German uniform, France 1918

Well a few lines. I received two letters from you last evening, and they made an excellent way for me to spend “Halloween.” Reading and rereading them.

A new drive started last night. The fellows called the start, “Holly even”, the Kaiser. Some noise. I suppose our kids tore off the usual stunts didn’t they.

You mentioned in one of you letters that you wanted to know the happenings for a while. Well, here is my diary for a day. And since almost every day is the same, you can get an idea from this: Continue reading “Armistice Day – The 11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month 1918”

Armistice Day: The 11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month, 1918

Veterans Day gives Americans the opportunity to celebrate the bravery and sacrifice of all U.S. veterans. However, many Americans confuse this holiday with Memorial Day.

A Brief History of Veterans Day

Veterans Day, formerly known as Armistice Day, was originally set as a U.S. legal holiday to honor the end of World War I, which officially took place on November 11, 1918. In legislation that was passed in 1938, November 11 was “dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be hereafter celebrated and known as ‘Armistice Day.'” As such, this new legal holiday honored World War I veterans.

In 1954, after having been through both World War II and the Korean War, the 83rd U.S. Congress — at the urging of the veterans service organizations — amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting the word “Veterans.” With the approval of this legislation on June 1, 1954, Nov. 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

In 1968, the Uniform Holiday Act ensured three-day weekends for federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays: Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day. Under this bill, Veterans Day was moved to the fourth Monday of October. Many states did not agree with this decision and continued to celebrate the holiday on its original date. The first Veterans Day under the new law was observed with much confusion on Oct. 25, 1971.

Finally on September 20, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed a law which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of Nov. 11, beginning in 1978. Since then, the Veterans Day holiday has been observed on Nov. 11.

[Source, more at the link. Related posts here.]

The 11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month: Armistice Day aka Veterans’ Day

Fort Rosecrans National Cemetary

Have you ever had the patience, alas
to count to 101,079?
Or to walk the salt-resistant grass
and touch the headstones in each long line?

To think of each warrior buried there
knowing their lives have been split in two
half for their carefree heroic youth
and half for the freedom of me and you?

If so, you couldn’t have stemmed the flood
of tears that surely blurred your eyes
as the spirit dips His brush in blood
to paint Old Glory in the skies
R. T. Sedgwick


[Image of Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetary and poem found here.]

To All Veterans Who Start Out Like This To Protect That.

Veterans Day

Always Remember The Armistice

The 11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month of 1918.
And remember that the Treaty of Versailles was merely Détente.
GOD BLESS ALL VETERANS

Respect

Armistice Day: The 11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month of 1918

Walter Myers

The letter below was penned by my grand-uncle Walter (1899-1978) to his parents (my great-grandparents). He had just turned 19, and was serving in the US Army Signal Corps. In WWI that meant he was stationed at the German Front, providing reconnaissance from balloons and wiring reports via telegraph. Very dangerous place to be.

21 August 1918 – France

Dearest Mom and Dad,

Was under fire for the first time recently. No casualties. Believe me you never heard such an unearthly noise. Everything quiet then all of a sudden “Boom” s-h-h-h sh-sh-sh. The boom is when the shell bursts and the “sh” sounds like the wind whistling through a crack. The “sh” is caused by flying splinters. The damned Deutsch can’t hit a barn so we should worry. We have dugouts.

Sorry I can’t tell more. This may be cut out. I don’t think it will though because there is no information. I guess the Deutsch remember shooting at us. So this letter wouldn’t give them any “info”.

You say that you will meet me when I get off the returning transport. I think the day when I arrive will be about 10 years hence, at the present rate. However, though, the unexpected might happen and I might get home inside of 9 years instead of ten. So you get my impression from the above paragraph. However though, I am absolutely not homesick.

Of course I would like to get home, which is only natural. But I don’t want to get home ’till the “Guerre” is finished and finished to a frizzle and finished in our favor, and the damned deutsch exterminated.

We are now sleeping on the ground and in pup tents. Great sport, too. Just like a big camp.

Well, I guess we will call things off for the present. So, “Au revoire cher Pere et Mere.” I will see you “Apres La Guerre.”

With love,
Soldier Bill

Unfortunately, The Armistice lasted barely twenty years, allowed the creation of the WehrMacht, and WWII ensued. The Korean “Conflict” was stalled the same way, and now North Korea is a dangerous rogue nation. Do I need to mention Iran? Fini La Guerre.

God Bless all Veterans who fight selflessly for what’s right.

[Related posts here.]

Armistice Day / Veterans Day / Remembrance Day


“One of the guns of Battery D, 105th Field Artillery, showing American flag which was hoisted after the last shot had been fired when the armistice took effect. Etraye, France., 11/11/1918”.
Sergeant First Class Morris Fineberg, Photographer.

My grand-uncle was stationed in France in the U.S. Signal Corps in WWI, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he knew some of the men in the photo above. On 10 November 1918, he sent this letter home:

“Mom and Dad. Well, nothing much new, only today we got the news of the peace plenipotentiaries arriving for a conference with General Foch. It sounds good to me. There is something here now that I would like to tell you but can’t, so when I return you mustn’t forget to ask me about the civilian refugees in the church. It will be some story. Not much excitement lately. We had our balloon burned by a boche plane with American insignia on it.”

Then on 14 November, this:

Dear Mom and Dad:

Well, of all the wonderful things that could ever happen. The war is “won”. As the French say, “Fini la Guerre.” Every Frenchman we meet hollers, “Fini la Guere, Merci! Beaucoup.” It means – The war is over, thank you many times. We are sure some glad bunch. I sure will have a lot of stuff to tell you when I return. And that won’t be long. We are now away from the front for the first time. I just got rid of a bunch of cooties yesterday. I hope that they will be the last, too. They are sure the cause of one hell of a feeling.

Well, this is all for the present. So long and hoping to see you soon.

Soldier Bill

May God Bless All Veterans, both past and present.

[Image from here. Related posts here and here.]

Armistice Day: The 11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month of 1918

[Update: Corrected factual error.]

Armistice Day was celebrated as an end to The Great War in Europe. Subsequently it was called “Veterans Day” in the United States in 1954. In Canada and most of the Commonwealth, it is observed as “Remembrance Day.”

Those decorated envelopes were sent by “Tid” Myers, my great grandfather, to his son, Pvt. Walter Myers, while Walter was stationed in France. I remember Uncle Walter as an almost blind old man whose hobby was amateur (HAM) radio.  I was too young to understand his hobby, and didn’t know enough about WWI to ask him what I’d ask him now. Uncle Walter passed on in 1978 and I never knew what he had gone through until decades later.

The following are transcripts of letters sent by Walter Myers to his parents.  He was in the U.S. Army Signal Corps in WWI.  The Signal Corps used balloons to survey the German trenches and movements, and was a very risky business.

The messages below are as is, without editing.
_________________________________________________

France, August 27, 1918

Dearest Mom and Dad,

Was under fire for the first time recently. No casualties. Believe me  you have never heard such an unearthly noise. Everything quiet then all of a sudden “Boom” s-h-h-h sh-sh-sh-sh. The boom is when the shell bursts and the “sh” sounds like the wind whistling through a crack. The “sh” is caused by flying splinters. The damned Dutch can’t hit a barn so we should worry. We have dugouts.

Sorry I can’t tell more. This may be cut out. I don’t think it will though because there is no information. I guess the Dutch remember shooting at us.  So this letter wouldn’t give them any “info.”

_________________________________________________

October 25, 1918
On the Front

Dear Mom and Dad:

Well, as per usual. A short ‘un. Have had some excitement lately but I get so darn used to excitement that it takes something more daring each time to satisfy me.  We lost another balloon the other day.  Burned by a boche airman. God knows but maybe our machine guns didn’t give him “H” but he got away with it. Our observers landed safe in their parachutes.

The Boche shelled us the other night and one shell landed about ten feet from your truly’s tent. Say, boy, you ought to have seen our gang high-tail it for the dugouts.  It was in the middle of the night and we all had to get out of bed but you didn’t see anybody in their under clothes for we never take our clothes off. I haven’t had my clothes off for about three weeks and Lord only knows when I got a bath last.  There is an old shell hole about ten feet from my  tent which is full of water and I am going to take a bath there if  I freeze my “arse” off.

You want to know if I “ever” had the cooties.  Well, I’ll tell you. I have ’em most of the time.  But they aint so worse after you have ’em  a while. I “kinda” got used to ’em.  We call the Boche, “Jerry.”

_________________________________________________

November 14, 1918
For the first time away from the front since July 5th.
In a camp, behind the lines.

Dear Mom and Dad:

Well, of all the wonderful things that could ever happen. The war is “won.”  As the French say, “Fini la Guerre.”  Every Frenchman we meet hollers, “Fini la Guerre, Merci!  Beaucoup.”  It means– the war is over, thank you many times.  We are sure some glad bunch.  I sure will have a lot of stuff to tell you when I return.  And that won’t be long.  We are now away from the front for the first time.  I just got rid of a bunch of cooties yesterday.  I hope that they will be the last, too.  They are sure the cause of one hell of a feeling.

Well, this is all for the present.  So long and hoping to see you soon.

Soldier Bill

_________________________________________________

[Update: The Philadelphia Intelligencer ran a story about the envelopes today, with more pictures.]

1918: The Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month

Liberty_merdeuse 091004

Happy Veterans Day, Armistice Day, Remembrance Day to all.

[Image found here.]

The 11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month

ww1-armistice-day

Here’s to all Veterans, past, present and future.

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There is an excellent publication, Military, that should be read by all. It’s not a glossy rewrite of history, but a monthly newsprint pulp, with first-person accounts from WWII, the Cold War, Korea, Viet Nam, Afganistan and Iraq. It contains snippets of world events, past and present, not normally found in the newspapers, let alone TV, Radio, or the internest news services.

Military provides current non-classified information that the popular main-stream media typically overlooks and ignores. Well worth the admission price of $21.00 a year.

Click on this link [www.milmag.com] to get to the subscription page. I have no monetary connections or financial interests with this publication, aside from being a fan and subscriber.

The publication is proudly conservative and I recommend it highly. Regardless of your political affiliation, it is not insulting to those of differing opinions. Go for it. —Bunk

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