November 11 is Veterans Day

November 11 is 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. This year we are commemorating the start of World War I.

At 11:00AM on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 the guns stopped firing. Think of the poor guy who was killed at 10:59AM.

16 millions men died and 20 millions more were wounded just so that Kaiser Wilhelm could show his British cousin, George V, that he was his grandmother’s (Queen Victoria) favorite grandson.

In particular, the US lost 116,000 men in 19 months and took heavy casualties on the last day of the war. This was because their commander, General John Pershing, believed that the Germans had to be severely defeated at a military level to effectively ‘teach them a lesson’. Pershing saw the terms of the Armistice as being soft on the Germans. Therefore, he supported those commanders who wanted to be pro-active in attacking German positions, even though he knew that an Armistice had been signed. In particular the Americans suffered heavy casualties attempting to cross the River Meuse on the night of November 10th, with the Marines taking over 1,100 casualties alone. However, if they had waited until 11:00AM, they could have crossed the river unhindered and with no casualties. The 89th US Division was ordered to attack and take the town of Stenay on the morning of November 11th. Stenay was the last town captured on the Western Front but at a cost of 300 casualties.

On November 11th, at 11:00AM, please stop what you are doing for a minute and remember them.