John T. Willis

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Armistice Day

War is always horrible. For various reasons, tribes, peoples, nations engage in war against other tribes, peoples, nations. We all desire peace. But war is a reality, and thus we have to deal with this reality as best we can.

For people in the United States of America, we recognize Remembrance Day or Armistice Day every year on 11 November. Initially, this commemorates the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiegne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Fron, which occurred at 11:00 a. m.--the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" of 1918.

Italy commemorates the day of the Armistice of Villa Giusti on 4 November. Poland calls this day Polish Independence Day. After World War II, the name of this holiday was changed to Veterans Day in the USA and to Remembrance Day in countries of the British Commonwealth of Nations. Armistice Day continues to be an official holiday in France and in Belgium, known in Belgium as the Day of Peace in the Flanders Fields.

Many people throughout the world take a two-minute time of silence at 11:00 a. m. as a sign of respect for the approximately 20 million people who died in the war. Beginning in 1939, the United Kingdom moved the two-minute silence to the Sunday nearest 11 November in order not to interfere with wartime productions.

Here in Abilene, Dyess Airforce Base, ACU, and other locations throughout this city commemorated Armistice Day this year. Our young people honor older people who gave their lives in military positions around the world. Evelyn and I and 37 ACU students spent a day at Normandy, where we viewed the crosses honoring those who had died in the war. These are sobering times.

We pray for peace. And we honor those who enable us to live in relative peace right now. I for one do not take for granted all the sacrifices people contribute to defending promoting this and other nations. I hope YOU share these sentiments.

What are YOUR experiences? What are YOUR thoughts? Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis


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