World War I was finally brought to an end with the signing of an armistice on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. 90 years ago today the "war to end all wars" was over. The 4 years of brutal fighting claimed over 20 million lives, about half of which were civilians, and brought an end to the German, Russian, Ottoman, and Austro-Hungarian Empires.
For 90 years we have marked November 11th as a day to remember those who have lost their lives in military service and to reflect on the continued presence of war in our world. In Canada this year we particularly remember the 26 Canadian soldiers who have died in Afghanistan since last Remembrance Day. (Memorial Site)
Canadian War Memorial Vimy Ridge
The eventual treaty to mark the end of WW I was to emerge from the "Paris Peace Conference" of 1919. This gathering of the victorious great powers resulted in a virtual redrawing of the world map creating numerous conflict-prone regions and eventually giving rise to more wars. The lands of the Middle East, formerly held by the Ottoman Empire were divided into a collection of Kingdoms, Mandates, Emirates, and Protectorates which were allied to either France or England. Anyone interested in the history of the Middle East conflicts should go back at least to the period of WW I and the Paris Peace Conference.
A Vietnamese Footnote
A young Vietnamese national living in Paris during the 1919 Peace Conference petitioned the Western powers for the recognition of the civil rights of the Vietnamese people in French Indochina. After being ignored Nguyễn Ái Quốc then petitioned American President Woodrow Wilson for assistance in removing the French from Vietnam. He was again ignored. Nguyễn Ái Quốc went on to become a founding member of the French Communist Party before he went to Russia and took the name of Hồ Chí Minh. wikipedia
Remembering and Reflecting... Rob
"At the root of war is fear, not so much the fear men have of one another as the fear they have of everything. It is not merely that they do not trust one another: they do not trust themselves." Thomas Merton
They shall grow not old,
as we that are left grow old:
age shall not weary them,
nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun
and in the morning
we will remember them...