On November 11th we annually celebrate Veterans Day in the US. It is a day we honor our veterans , and current members of the Armed Forces.
However we cannot forget the special significance of this day.
One hundred and one years ago on November 11th 1918 ,the First World War ended.
At that time , it was seen as the most devastating conflict in human history.
Growing up in Trinidad , I remember this day as “Remembrance Day” or “Poppy Day” , since as children we purchased artificial poppies at school , and wore them to support veterans , and to honor those who died on the battlefields of Northern France and Flanders during World War I, the War that was supposed to end all wars.
After the conflict was over the poppy was one of the only plants to grow on the otherwise barren battlefields, and the disturbances of the fighting caused the poppy seeds in the ground to bloom spectacularly during the spring and summer of the war years , so much so that the the blooming poppies became an indelible reminder of the bloody battlefields, and almost synonymous with the sacrifices of the soldiers.
On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of the year 1918 , the Armistice was signed that ended World War I.
The War To End All Wars was over.
In the aftermath of the war , the world was so traumatized that the victorious nations , in an attempt to forestall another war established the League of Nations to arbitrate international disputes , and imposed harsh treaties and significant reparation payments upon the defeated nations.
Unfortunately , The League of Nations proved ineffective, and the burden of the terms of the treaty and the reparations seemed particularly burdensome and unfair to many Germans , giving rise to right wing parties leading to the growth and popularity of the Nazi ideology.
Subsequently, within two decades , the world was again at war, with the accompanying devastation, fueled by Nazi aggression.
One can only hope that a day will come when there are fewer veterans to remember and celebrate, which would mean that human military conflict had become a thing of the past.