Today is Armistice Day, the day when the guns fell silent in November, 1918, to bring an end to the horrors of World War I. As the name suggests, this was a war such as the world had never experienced before, with massive loss of life on both sides on a scale never seen before. It stunned the Western world, in ways such that it has never completely been able to recover, with a whole generation of the finest young men of several nations destroyed before their time. The horrors of this war, with its trench warfare and gas attacks, were beyond the ability of many to deal with psychologically, and it left a permanent mental scar on the nations involved.
Unfortunately, the peace accords that were signed were not wisely drawn and contained within them the seeds for World War II because of the punitive conditions that they imposed on Germany. There was the intent to reduce Germany to an agrarian economy with no possibility that it would ever again be able to make war on its neighbors. While this might have sounded reasonable to the simple minded, it neglected the nature of the people involved. But at least for that day, Armistice Day, the war was ended and the killing stopped. People could think about healing, putting their lives back together, and rebuilding.
Today in the US, Armistice Day is celebrated as Veterans Day wherein we honor all that have served the nation in all of America’s wars. War is looked down upon today in America, and regrettably our soldiers are not given the proper honor and respect due to them. Many on the Left show complete disrespect for those who serve currently, and often even disrupt the burials of those who have died in the line of duty. This is a major disgrace, but we live in a time when arrogance, completely unearned personal pride, and general lack of respect are the hall marks of our age.
This is a time to remember with respect and gratitude the service of all the military men and women who have served this nation over the years. Some have fought in foxholes, some flew Corsairs in the Pacific islands, some only worked at a desk in Chicago, but all served the needs of the nation in their assigned duties. Some fought for the Union and some fought for the Confederacy, but all fought for their homes and families.
We close with a short Collect taken from the Book of Common Prayer, 1928. Let us pray:
Almighty God, our heavenly Father, in whose hands are the living and the dead; We give thee thanks for all those thy servants who have laid down their lives in the service of our country. Grant to them thy mercy and the light of thy presence, that the good work which thou hast begun in them may be perfected; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord. Amen.