On the 11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month, the Guns of August Fell Silent

It is 11 o’clock in the morning. 91 years ago at this very moment, World War I officially ended. While we call it Veterans Day in this country, most of the world knows it as Remembrance Day. The “War to End All Wars” was not really so. At this moment, 91 years ago, the calm before the real storm began. Lives striving to be put back in order would, within twenty years, come undone again.

The last of Britain’s World War I soldiers died in the past year. And we continue losing the World War II generation. It is odd to think that soon there will be children born who have no direct connection to either of the two great wars of the 20th century.

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In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

— Lt.-Col. John McCrae (1872 – 1918)

4 comments

  1. B Balz says:

    I met my Uncle late in life, through marriage. My wife, his Brothers’ daughter, had become estranged over the years though a falling out in business. Death often reunites us as much as its’ finality separates us. Two weeks ago our family spent time looking at digital photo’s of my Uncle’s early life in Washington, GA.

    Not being ‘frum heah’, I marveled at how difficult this man’s early life was, yet he recounted happily his first bike, earned with money from his paper route. I mentioned the Augusta paper would love to run a story on him!

    He recounted tales of the “Brick House” outside of Washington, GA, a rather famous local landmark, where he courted his bride to be. Wonderfully sweet stories of a time lost to most of us, a time when things were as different as they are the same.

    My Uncle and his Brother joined the Army Air Corps. When told the Army would require him to rise at 5AM, he replied, “Oh, I get to sleep in and extra hour?” Uncle became a ball turret gunner on a B-17 in the 95th, shot down over enemy territory, force marched to a POW Camp. Unbeknownst to him, his Brother, a B-17 pilot flew over his POW camp, knowing his brother was in it!

    Uncle suffered a major heart event this week, 80, and is recovering. I am elated, as I will be able to spend more time with this fascinating, inspiring true Son of the South.

    My thoughts are for those who cannot. Godspeed to those who serve, and to those who have served our Nation.

  2. B Balz says:

    Lieutenant Marshall Reid Crow passed from this temporal World this day at 3:17PM.

    God Rest his Soul and I thank him for his duty to God and Country, may he rest in peace.

    Take those you love and hold them close, we do not get to choose in this life.

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