Friday, November 11, 2005


Today marks the day the guns fell silent in France and Belgium on a terrible global conflict that was suppsed to end all wars. Lets not forget the dead nor their sacrifice. Below are some impressions on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

When the war ended I had the luck to be at our front at the very place from which the old army was forced to retreat in 1914, and it was great when eleven o'clock went and the Belgian civilians and we crowded together into the village square to rejoice. They played 'Tripperay' on the parish church bells and we all sang the two National Anthems and cheered King Albert and felt it had all been worthwhile. --- Charles Montague

The band played 'God save the King'. None heard it without a quiver of emotion. The mud-stained troops paused in the crowded street, the hum of traffic was stilled. A rippling cheer was drowned in the first notes of the Belgian hymn; the Marseillaise' succeeded it, and the army of each ally was thus saluted in turn. I do not think that any one heard the few choked words of the old mayor when he tried to voice the thanks of Belgium for this day of happiness. --- Percival Phillips

306th Machine-Gun Company on my right lost twelve men at 10.55, when a high explosive landed in their position. At 11.00 sharp the shelling ceased on both sides and we don't know what to say. Captain came up and told us the war was over. We were dumfounded and finally came to and cheered - and it went down the line like wildfire. I reported Jones' death and marked his grave. Captain conducted a prayer and cried like a baby. --- SGT T. Grady USArmy

I thought the war would never end. And perhaps it never did, either. Peace was declared, but not all of us were drunk with joy or stricken blind. Very little changed fundamentally, except that the proud German soldier had turned into a defeated bundle of misery and the great German army had disintegrated. --- George Grosz

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