Celebrating the Centennial of the Armistice - Sunday, November 11, 2018
At dawn on the morning of November 11, 1918, two railroad cars arrived in a remote forest outside Compiègne, France. One carried German military officers; the other, Allied commanders. They were gathering for a meeting that would make history. It was here that leaders of these two military forces signed an armistice—an agreement to end years of deadly conflict. At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, World War I was over.
More than eight million people had been killed in battle, with millions more lost as civilian casualties. But with the armistice signed, there was hope that the Great War could truly be “the war to end all wars.”
In recognition of this day of peace and hope, United States President Woodrow Wilson designated November 11 as Armistice Day, which would later be renamed Veterans Day. “To us in America,” he declared, “the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in their country’s service and with gratitude for the victory.”
Shortly after peace was declared, an American soldier, Ira Schubert, wrote to his girlfriend back home: “No doubt the people in the States went wild over the signing of the armistice. But you can’t imagine the feelings of the boys who went through the hardships one encounters in a war-swept country. The only way they could celebrate the victory was to pat each other on the back and thank Almighty God that they survived the greatest ordeal man ever went through.”
In 2018, the 100th anniversary of the armistice, we remember not just those who fought but what they fought for. Veterans of World War I are all gone now, and Ira Schubert was right—we may never really know what they went through. But we can thank Almighty God that they were willing to go through it. We can continue to pay tribute to their courage. And we can ensure that their undaunted service and sacrifice set a standard that is forever remembered and revered.
1 In “History of Veterans Day,” U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, va.gov/opa/vetsday/vetdayhistory.asp.
2 In Andrew Carroll, ed., War Letters: Extraordinary Correspondence from American Wars (2001), 167.
November 11, 2018
Broadcast Number 4,652
The Tabernacle Choir
Orchestra at Temple Square
Bells on Temple Square
This Land Is Your Land
Woody Guthrie; arr. Percy Faith; adapted by Michael Davis
Song for the Unsung Hero
Joseph M. Martin
The Battle Cry of Freedom
George F. Root; arr. Richard Elliott
Semper Fidelis March
John Philip Sousa; arr. Carol Lynn Mizell
God of Our Fathers, Whose Almighty Hand
George W. Warren; arr. Mack Wilberg
A Tribute to the Armed Services
Arranged by Lloyd Larson