Sunday marks the 94th anniversary of the end of what would for a time be known as The War to End All Wars, but has since been re-named to reflect the unfortunate reality that not only was it not the last, but also not the last on an epic scale. These days, the history books call it World War I.
The centennial of the beginning of the complicated conflict that shaped the world we live in is but two years away, and in the 100 years since the beginning of the first world war, there has been not only a second world war, but also countless other deadly conflicts.
Established at the same time as the United States entry into World War I, Aberdeen Proving Ground remains a vibrant and all too necessary part of our national defense, as well as the regional economy.
The anniversary we mark Sunday is the one that gives us the term "11th hour agreement," to denote a last minute deal reached under pressure. The armistice marking end of hostilities for World War I went into effect at 11 a.m. Nov. 11 — the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month. Unfortunately, the actual agreement was reached the previous evening and, though it was announced, sporadic fighting was allowed to continue and many people died as a result, right up to the 11th hour.
The armistice would end up marking as close a thing to the end of the war as would come; getting signatures on peace treaties would prove elusive.
Armistice Day would end up being observed annually to mark the end of the War to End All Wars, as well as all the U.S. veterans who fought in it. In time, it came to pass that there would be more veterans from more wars, and the day's name was changed to Veterans Day. It is a day to thank those who have served, and continue to serve in harms way defending our nation until the day comes when war is brought to an end.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun