A Spurgeon Thought for Veterans Day

Stanley Weintraub wrote a whole book about November 11th, A Stillness Heard Round the World. (You can find cheap, used copies at bookfinder.com)  Most folks today have no remembrance that 11 November was Armistice Day, the celebration of the end of bloodshed in WWI. 


Why does a peaceful nation bluster and threaten for a few months, and even commence fighting, when in a short time it sighs for peace, and illuminates its streets as soon as peace is proclaimed? The immediate causes differ, but the abiding reason is the same — man is fallen, and belongs to a race of which infallible revelation declares “their feet are swift to shed blood; destruction and misery are in their ways, and the way of peace they have not known.”

[1914-2014:  Centennial of the WWI Christmas truce]

1 thought on “A Spurgeon Thought for Veterans Day

  1. Michael Snow Post author

    Armistice: The Ending of Hostilities
    On 11 November, the warring parties signed the ar-
    mistice, bringing that great bloodbath to an end.
    Only those who suffered through those cataclysmic
    events truly understood the meaning of that day.
    On the Continent, Russia and Germany had each
    seen 1.7 million of their own soldiers slaughtered.
    Between them, some 9 million were wounded.
    France saw 1.3 million of its soldiers sacrificed, and
    over 4 million wounded. Austria-Hungary suffered
    about the same number of tragic loses.
    Great Britain mourned almost a million soldiers and
    twice that number suffered wounds.
    The United States, which had only been in the war
    for a year and some months (but a very long year for
    those military men), saw over 100,000 of its own men
    killed and over a quarter million wounded.
    The deep meaning of that armistice remained in the
    minds of World War I veterans a half century later
    when the U.S. Congress, in one of its clueless moves,
    changed the observance of the federal holiday from
    November 11th to a certain Monday of October. Me-
    morial Day, Veterans Day and Washington’s Birth-
    day were all moved on the calendar in order to create
    three-day federal holiday weekends.
    Because of the war that had followed that “War to
    End All Wars,” President Eisenhower had signed a
    law that broadened the meaning of “Armistice Day”
    by making it “Veterans Day” in 1954. But in the
    minds of the World War I generation, the memory of
    that armistice still held sway.
    Oh Holy Night
    So, in the late 1960s when Congress changed the
    date, I can still remember my grandmother adamant-
    ly asserting that Armistice Day was November 11th,
    NOT the fourth Monday of October. The thousands
    of soldiers who, like my grandfather, had served in
    France and other lands would not hear of such a
    So, South Dakota and Mississippi refused to follow
    the federal lead. And one by one, the other states be-
    gan reverting back to the November 11th observance.
    And the politicians received an earful. The World War
    I generation was still alive and well; remembering
    and speaking up. They again took back lost ground.
    The end result was that one decade after changing
    the date, Congress, in 1978, restored the observance
    to November 11th.


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