Today is the 96th anniversary of Armistice Day. If you don’t know your history, that means 96 years ago today, at 11:11 AM on 11/11/1918, the Central Powers led by Germany and Austria-Hungary surrendered to the Triple Entente led by the U.S., U.K., and Russian Empire (on its way to becoming the Soviet Union) in Compiegne, France, in a boxcar from an old freight train.
This day is commemorated around the world, generally to mark the end of a war which saw over 20 million human beings slaughtered, often in the most gruesome manner. Mustard seed gas, tanks, air combat, and trench warfare were used for the first time to kill, mostly in the nation of nationalism.
In America we mark this as Veterans Day, to acknowledge not only the end of hostilities in World War One but to honor the service of every man or woman who has ever put on a military uniform for any of the Armed Service branches. On this day I would like to thank our veterans for their service. All of you exemplify the best about being an American, no matter which branch of the Armed Forces you served in.
I would like to acknowledge the following for their service: John Stapleford, retired Vietnam veteran Air Force Captain and winner of the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with clusters; John Darr, who served in the 7th fleet during the Vietnam War as a company engineering officer; my grandfather, Frederick Friedman, who served as an Captain Chief of Obstetrics 551st USAF hospital Air Force doctor during the Vietnam War at Otis Air Force base in Massachusetts; and my great-uncle Eugene Cohen, who served in the Navy during world war 2 and took part in naval bombardments in the Pacific Ocean as America was advancing on Japan’s homeland.
History note: During World War Two, when the French Surrendered to Nazi Germany, Hitler forced the French to sign their surrender terms in the same boxcar Germany signed theirs in nearly 22 years earlier. That boxcar then got shipped off to Germany as a ‘prize’ for the Germans to gloat about.