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Sunday, November 10, 2013

TOMORROW, 99th Anniversary of Armistice! Honor the women and men who fought in The Great War and read HEROIC MEASURES

     When the British, French, Americans and Germans and Austrian-Hungarians signed the Armistice agreement November 11, 1918 in Compiegne, France, the world celebrated a cease fire, the end of the slaughter that typied the war.
     Here is the famous picture of those who signed the agreement in the railroad car along the front in northern France.
Photographer unknown. In public domain in EU, UK and USA.
     Millions in tiny villages and large cities across the world came out to mark the end of this tragic conflict. Some danced. Most cried. Millions mourned their loss of  friends and family. For thousands who served, many decried the impairment of their health. Bitter and devastated, the millions who survived had before them an extremely difficult time recovering. Whole towns had disappeared. Home and farms were destroyed. Landscapes were forever altered by huge bombs, tunnels and gas warfare.
    People had to deal with the loss of millions of their loved ones. In Britain, so many young men had been killed that the Government soon developed a program for unmarried women to move abroad so that they might find husbands in the Commonwealth countries. Wounded, largely due to the improvement in medical care, survived by the hundreds of thousands. As amputees, many learned to use prostheses. Others who were facially wounded underwent new skin grafting techniques that were to be the solid basis for the development of plastic surgery.
     Today, the park and forest around Compiegne's treaty site are peaceful sites. Like that day when the Entente military leaders and their German counterparts met in a railroad car, the foliage is thick. And as then, it is so deep you cannot see the sky. On that day, the Entente leaders wanted aerial coverage as protection but the canopy was so dense this was impossible.
Museum at site of Armistice signing.
Inside is Railroad Car, next in sequence of actual car since destroyed in fire.

Aside from this car, the museum houses wonderful panoramic pictures of all aspects of military life.
I estimate ninety percent of these are not duplicated anywhere else.

Outside in the clearing, this statue
to French General Foch
who received the German agreement to the cease fire for 11.11.18.
Memorial to the Heroic Soldiers of France
Defenders of the their country
and the glorious liberators of Alsace and Lorraine.
This stands directly opposite the building in above picture
which houses the replica of the train car where Germans agreed to cease fire.

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