Veterans Day by Tom Reynolds
A little history to show why history is important.
In June 1914, a Bosnian Serb assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne.
Austria-Hungary held Serbia responsible and declared war. Russia came to Serbia's defense and Germany, France, Britain and the Ottoman Empire were soon drawn into the war. Then, Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, Italy and others joined in. In the Pacific, New Zealand occupied German Samoa and Australian Forces landed on Germany’s island of New Britain. A German cruiser sank a Russian cruiser. Japan declared war on Germany and Austria-Hungary in what was a land grab. German forces attacked South Africa. India supplied large quantities of food, money, ammunition and soldiers to the British.
In early 1917, the United States entered the war on the side of the Allies.
Later in 1917, the Bolsheviks seized power in the Russian October Revolution
It was truly a World War.
Millions died. It led directly to geocide and a pandemic. A worthless worldwide political body was established in the aftermath.
On November 11, 1918, an armistice was signed and on the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" of 1918, hostilities ceased on the Western Front of World War I. (On June 28, 1919, the Treaty of Versailles was signed which formally ended the war.)
November 11th was declared as “Armistice Day” to celebrate the end of the “Great War.” (It wasn’t yet known as World War 1 since World War 2 was still 21 years in the future.)
Commemorations of November 11th were initially focused on honoring the military dead of the First World War and the return to peace. Later, many countries changed the name of the holiday; several changed the focus to include all veterans of their armed services and a few honor their war dead both uniformed and civilian. Most member states of the Commonwealth of Nations adopted the name Remembrance Day.
In 1954, the United States changed the name to ‘All Veterans Day’, later shortened to 'Veterans Day'. (The United States has a separate holiday, “Memorial Day’, to honor and mourn the U.S. military personnel who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.)
Saturday is the 105th anniversary of the armistice. Have we learned anything from history?
WW1 started because one person was assassinated and it rapidly grew from there.
Currently, Hamas invaded Israel and performed barbaric acts. Israel responded. Hezbollah in Lebanon, on Israel’s northern border, attacked Israel and threatened an invasion. Iran, which has dreams of recreating the Persian Empire, threatens the United States for helping Israel defend itself. American troops were attacked by drones and rocket barrages in Iraq and Syria and U S forces face ramped up attacks by Iranian-backed groups. Syria has been in a decades long civil war where poison gas has been used.
Russia’s Putin is determined to restore the past ‘glories’ – and atrocities – of the Soviet Union Empire.
China is determined to take over global leadership and is not against genocide directed against its own people. It also threatens America’s ally, Taiwan.
Africa lags behind the rest of the world in almost every important category and is a hotbed of atrocities and civil wars.
Today’s situation sounds a lot more explosive than just one royal being assassinated.
One of the major aspects of World War 1 was the incompetence of the military and political leadership. Countless men on both sides were butchered as the generals fought the wrong war – the ‘last war’. (Unknown officers Eisenhower and Patton were reprimanded for espousing tank tactics that differed from what was then accepted army doctrine.)
Today, our military leaders (both generals and politicians) are fighting the wrong war as they prepare to fight the next war on Woke battlefields where climate change is the biggest enemy. These generals were securing their own political support by focusing on Woke propaganda instead of planning and implementing a successful withdrawal from Afghanistan and keeping our armed forces prepared to fight real world enemies.
When the U S A entered WW1, it was not prepared; soldiers trained using broom handles instead of rifles.
At a time of heightened tensions, our current readiness is threatened as all military branches are missing their recruitment goals. For instance, the Coast Guard has major national security missions to accomplish, including interdicting drug smuggling and illegal immigrants on the high seas, maritime search and rescue, and other important missions. Forbes just reported that the Coast Guard will have a 10% shortage in enlisted ranks forcing the Coast Guard to take ten cutters out of service. Is anyone aware that the U S A has a fentanyl drug smuggling crisis which is killing tens of thousands of Americans and that the Coast Guard is a major player in protecting our borders?
Are our generals and admirals fully engaged in finding the root cause of the enlistment crisis? They just raised the maximum enlistment age to 42. They are trying to offset the problem rather than solve the problem.
During WW1, Congress passed and President Woodrow Wilson signed and enforced a Sedition Act which covered a broader range of offenses. Those offenses included speech and the expression of opinion that cast the government or the war effort in a negative light.
Anyone noticed any assaults on our 1st Amendment protected right of free speech by the Swamp in Washington?
We need to honor veterans on this coming Saturday, but a history lesson on what brought this holiday about and its parallels with today’s worsening global situation should give all of us a reason to pause, remember and take action. We don’t need another holiday to celebrate the end of another war.
One other thing.
During and immediately after WW1, we had a president who did not believe in the U S Constitution. Then, that president was totally incapacitated and unable to perform his duties but his wife kept his incapacity a secret and she was, basically, running the country.
Glad that history couldn’t repeat itself!