By the time the ink had dried on the signatures that long ago 11th hour of the 11th day in the 11th month, more than 8 million souls had perished before quiet finally came to the Western Front.

While the names of the fallen may no longer bring tears to their loved ones, their sacrifice and that of their battled brethren are not forgotten.

The forest floors of the Ardennes and the Argonne will forever weep the blood of so many, so young, so wastefully gone. Verdun, Chateau-Thierry/Belleau Wood, Marne, Somme, Ypres, Gallipoli, Jutland all remain constant reminders of man’s inherent ability to behave in such abhorrently inhumane ways.

It was supposed to have been “the war to end all wars,” its reward, an enduring peace.

It was instead but the beginning of an end that just one generation later would see a young corporal rise from those trenches and bring about a calamity more horrific than could ever have been imagined that autumn day.

Yet even after that second conflagration nearly consumed us all, the lasting peace so earnestly sought in that railroad car outside Paris has proved as elusive to us today as it was to the signers those 92 years ago.

Is it really any surprise then that places so fresh in our memories today, Tikrit, Baghdad, Ramadi, Falujah, are the very same places that were once just as fresh in the memories of that generation now long past?

As we remember the origin of this day, let that remembrance bring upon us a reflection of the enormous sacrifice made by those who dedicate their lives that we shall be free to live ours.

Pray peace for the souls who have gone before us, pray safe for those serving now and pray hope that one day, some day, at home they shall all remain.

And the next time you encounter one of those dedicated few, please don’t be shy.

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