The horror was over. On November 11th, 1918, the Great War ended.
At Brickmania, we like to note dates of historical significance. Across American history, the course of our nation was dramatically shifted by certain key military events such as Yorktown, Gettysburg, and Normandy. We often focus on the technical details of such events – the places, equipment, and numbers. Yet, there is a wealth of letters, journals, diaries from the soldiers in the trenches. The static nature of the Great War left future generations with detailed accounts of truces, terror, and brotherhood. Perhaps unknown at the time, these soldiers marked the end of one age and the beginning of another.
The age of mechanized war came suddenly and unexpectedly. These soldiers were the first to face barbed wire, machine guns, and poison gas. They were some of the first to hear airplanes over the battlefield and were the first to witness tanks as they crawled across no man’s land. Although no veterans of the Great War remain, their unique experiences on the Western Front can still be heard.
Today marks the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, or Veterans Day in the United States. This day is also known as Poppy Day. Red poppies had a tendency to grow in the churned-up soil of no man’s land and became a worldwide symbol to honor veterans, a tradition that continues to this day. Today, you may see people wearing a red poppy accompanied by the following words:
Lest we forget.
If there is someone you’re remembering today, tell us their story in the comments.