“At 92, Queen Elizabeth is showing no sign of slowing down. Just last week, for example, she was spotted horseback riding on the grounds of Windsor Castle. But she has started to pass on some of her responsibilities to the younger members of her family.
“This morning, Prince Charles lay a wreath at London’s Cenotaph on his mother’s behalf during the national service of remembrance. It is the second year the Prince of Wales has performed the duty on Remembrance Day, which this year holds additional significance, as it falls on the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.”
In addition to being both the Centenary of Armistice Day (11 November 1918) and Remembrance Day (UK) / Veterans Day (US), today is also Martinmas: the Feast of St. Martin on Tours:
“One of the most popular saints of the Middle Ages and one of the patron saints of France, Martin was born in Pannonia (now Hungary) around the year 316. His father was a pagan officer in the Roman army, and Martin joined the army for some time as well, probably as a conscript.
“He intended to become a Christian from an early age and enrolled among the catechumens while still a soldier. He became convinced that his commitment to Christ prevented his serving as a soldier, because he would be expected to kill the enemy in battle. After protesting against his military service, he was imprisoned, and at the end of hostilities, was discharged.
“According to an ancient legend, while Martin was still a catechumen, he was approached by a poor man who asked for alms in the Name of Christ. Martin, drawing his sword, cut off part of his military cloak and gave it to the beggar. On the following night, Jesus appeared to Martin, clothed in half a cloak, and said to him, ‘Martin, a simple catechumen, covered me with this garment.'”
It is also the first anniversary of my ordination to the sacred priesthood of Christ’s One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, in its Anglican expression!
Contrary to popular belief, Germany had entered World War One only reluctantly, and as a result of its mutual-assistance pact with Austria-Hungary. When it became obvious that the Kaiserreich could not defeat the Allies – especially after the entry of the United States, with over a million fresh troops, and in light of the “November Revolution” that resulted in Bolshevik (Marxist / Communist) takeovers of several major German cities – its representatives sought to negotiate, in good faith, a treaty to end the war.
Those negotiations were intended to be conducted on the basis of Woodrow Wilson’s “Fourteen Points,” which “called for the victorious Allies to set unselfish peace terms with the vanquished Central Powers of World War I, including freedom of the seas, the restoration of territories conquered during the war and the right to national self-determination in such contentious regions as the Balkans.”
On this day, almost at this hour – at the “eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month” – the guns of the Western Front fell silent at last, and four years of a cruel, horrific, European brother-killing war, the “Great War,” World War One, the “war to end all wars” (if only!) came to an end.
Bled nearly dry by four years of meat-grinder warfare, a whole generation nearly annihilated, Europe was exhausted. But the arrival of more than a million fresh, able, and (for the most part) well-equipped American troops turned the tide. Now hopelessly outnumbered, its cities falling to Marxist revolution and even parts of its once-proud military in mutiny, Germany had no choice but to sue for peace. Continue reading “Centenary of Armistice Day: 11 November, 1918-2018”