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

Today marks the 87th anniversary of the Armistice to end the Great War on a holiday now called Veteran’s Day in the United States.

To commemorate the occasion, I was surfing around Trenches on the Web (a must see site for anyone interested in the time period), looking for something to post. I came across a collection of writings from soldiers involved in the war. Here is a portion of a diary entry by Pvt. Clarence Richmond, 5th Marines, 2nd Division dated November 11, 1918:

…After eleven o’clock all firing ceased entirely, not a sound any where. Soon everybody was talking about it, no word had reached us yet.

A wounded fellow from our company was discovered, down near the river bank, where he had laid since just before daylight. Getting a stretcher, McDermott and I went to him and dressed his wound. He was shot through the hip, and just about unconscious, as a result of his exposure to the cold. We wrapped him in a blanket, and laid him on the stretcher.

While we were getting ready to take our wounded man to the rear, a runner appeared with the official news that an Armistice had been signed. Most everybody let out a few healthy yells, but I did not. For one reason, didn’t feel much like yelling. I had some difficulty getting three more fellows to help me carry the stretcher…

Hopefully this year’s remembrance of the final hostilities in “the war to end all wars” will bring a peace of another kind in Paris.

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