PART ONE: TO START A WAR
PART TWO: THE AMERICAN FRONT
PART THREE: A NEW WORLD ORDER
November 11, 1918.
All across the Western front, the clocks that were lucky enough to escape the four years of shelling chimed the eleventh hour. And with that the First World War came to an end.
From 10 o’clock to 11 — the hour for the cessation of hostilities — the opposed batteries simply raised hell. Not even the artillery prelude to our advance into the Argonne had anything on it. To attempt an advance was out of the question. It was not a barrage. It was a deluge.
[. . .]
Nothing quite so electrical in effect as the sudden stop that came at 11 A. M. has ever occurred to me. It was 10:60 precisely and — the roar stopped like a motor car hitting a wall. The resulting quiet was uncanny in comparison. From somewhere far below ground, Germans began to appear. They clambered to the parapets and began to shout wildly. They threw their rifles, hats, bandoleers, bayonets and trench knives toward us. They began to sing.
And just like that, it was over. Four years of the bloodiest carnage the world had ever seen came to a stop as sudden and bewildering as its start. And the world vowed “Never again.”
Each year, we lay the wreath. We hear “The Last Post.” We mouth the words “never again” like an incantation. But what does it mean? To answer this question, we have to understand what WWIwas.
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