Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day -- 2010

The First World War nominally ended on November 11th. First celebrated as Armistice Day, it became Remembrance Day for the Commonwealth to honor those who had fallen. In the United States where Memorial Day already commemorated those who died defending our country it became Veteran’s Day to also honor the veterans who came home.

Lord Grey, the British Foreign Minister described the beginning of the war as "The lamps are going out in Europe". The immediate costs in dead and treasure of this ultimately pointless war were horrific. The horror of the trenches scarred the psyche of the Western world. The resulting despair allowed political movements to come to influence and power, which have changed for the worse Western culture, the holocaust and gulag being just the tip of the iceburg. Too many of the lamps are still out.

It is a hard truth that this is an especially appropriate day to remember our veterans living and dead. One of the very few bright spots were the solders and sailors whose dedication, loyalty, and valor shamed the politicians and “statesman” who sent them to war. They should always be remembered.

But also we need to remember that in other wars it was this same dedication and valor that bought our Freedom and Liberty, certainly against the forces released as a result of the First World War.

Enjoy the holiday, but remember to think of and pray for those who served.

In 2007 David Duff objected to the war being called pointless. El Jefe Maximo responded. Their interesting and informative discussion is a must read..

Related posts:

Le Soldat Americain dans Afgaistan
Soldiers are People, too
The Last of the Light Brigade.
The Bivouac of the Dead
Roy Nickerson
11/11/1918 (From Kingdom of Chaos)
Rembrance Day - where They Fell HT:David Duff

Labels:WWI and Veterans Day posts


David Duff said...

Hah! Hank, you nearly caught me out there because when I read "this ultimately pointless war I immediately bristled! Then I read further and saw your reminder of our previous discussion which I re-read with interest. In a sense it was 'a pointless war' because it stemmed mainly from German fear of its menacing neighbours which was, and this is the sickening paradox, a menace they themselves engendered. The more the Russians and French retaliated to German provocations by drawing closer together, the more fearful the Germans became - and thus the more determined they were to fight a war and settle matters once and for all.

In particular, and this is not always stressed enough, they were immensely fearful of Russian advances. After Russia had been humiliated by the Japs in 1905 they ceased to be much of a problem but the enfeebled giant made a recovery, in their terms quite a fast recovery, railways were built, industries were modernised - and the German General Staff, facing the prospect of millions of Russians arriving on their doorstep, took fright and insisted that the Kaiser go to war because in 3, 4, or 5 years the Russians would be too powerful. Of course, in their fear they over-emphasised the Russian's strength but at the time they believed it.

As for the UK, as always in those days, it was maritime interests which were of grand strategic importance. Put simply, if the shipping lanes were choked off, we would starve! Thus, the prospect of the German navy having access to conquered French ports in the Atlantic and the Med was simply untenable. For that reason, and that reason alone, we had to fight.

hank_F_M said...


"ultimatly" is a key word, that I added in view of the previous discussion.

Whatever the purposes and intents at the begining of the war, they were overwhelmed by the war and the consequences, much for the worse IMHO.

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