Posts Tagged ‘world war’

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“What is the good of your speeches? I come to Sarajevo on a visit, and I get bombs thrown at me. It is outrageous.” ~Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria

One this day… ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO, was an event so epic and important that it started a chain of other global events which led to the First World War breaking.

Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria along with his wife Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, were both assassinated in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

This murder is seen as the central, precipitating event to have sparked the war.

Of course there were many involved in the murderous plot. Most of the men tried and convicted were sentenced from three to twenty years in prison for their specific role. Others received life sentences. And still three others were executed by hanging because of their participation. While nine in total were acquitted. archduke1

The victims were shot by nineteen year old Bosnian Serb, Gavrilo Princip.

Shockingly Princip received twenty years in prison but had died in 1918 from tuberculosis.

The assassination led up to Austria-Hungary’s campaign against Serbia. All hell broke loose. Fighting started. Nations and countries took sides, and the war began.

All of that, started 4 years, 3 months and 1 week of the world gone mad it seems. Death, destruction, blurred lines, alliances, armies, and powers that be striking blows at one another.

And still here we are today saying that this began 100 years ago. And it seems so odd and ancient to do so. Archduke-Franz-Ferdinand-of-Austria

These things literally and actually happened on this day a century before. All of it leading to mass casualties between the Allied Powers and Central Powers.

Austria-Hungary and Germany being a part of the Central Powers and nations such as the United States, United Kingdom, and France the Allied Powers.

Interesting side note: Italy and Japan also took participation in World War I, sided along with the United States. Something that they would NOT do during World War II.

Both military and civilian casualties were over 37 million people. 16 million deaths and 20 million wounded which makes World War I rank among the deadliest conflicts ever on Earth. Not to mention that the Spanish Flu was also running wild and was infecting and killing people which also contributes to the numbers of casualties to be higher due to the fact that the outbreak happened during the war.

For some it is still hard to believe that something as “simple” as an assassination of two people in power could lead to so much death, destruction, and the re-writing of world history as we know it. But it did. The “war to end all wars” would not be World War I as they proclaimed. Within a few decades there was World War II. And thankfully, we’ve not had World War III.

But today was the day one hundred years ago where an assassination took place and it changed the face of the world forever. Come December will be hundred years since the Christmas Truce of World War I. And there will be a blog post about it. Stay tuned right here at DAMBREAKER.

 

“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.” ~ President Woodrow Wilson

President Woodrow Wilson made that speech on the 11th of November, 1919 proclaiming the national American holiday of Armistice Day.

The United States Congress passed a concurrent resolution seven years later on 4th of June, 1926, requesting that the President Calvin Coolidge issue another proclamation to observe 11th of November with appropriate ceremonies.

An Act approved the 13th of May, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday; “a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as ‘Armistice Day’.”

In 1953, an Emporia, Kansas man named Alvin King the owner of a shoe repair shop, had the idea to expand Armistice Day to celebrate all veterans, not just those who died in World War I. King had been actively involved with the American War Dads during World War II. He began a campaign to turn Armistice Day into “All” Veterans Day.

The Emporia Chamber of Commerce took up the cause after determining that 90% of Emporia merchants as well as the Board of Education supported closing their doors on the 11th of November to honor all veterans. With the help of U.S. Representative Ed Rees, also from Emporia, a bill for the holiday was pushed through Congress. President Dwight Eisenhower signed it into law on 26th of May, 1954.

Congress amended this act on first of June, 1954, replacing “Armistice” with “Veterans,” and it has been known as Veterans Day since.

Although originally scheduled for celebration on the 11th of November of every year, starting in 1971 in accordance with the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, Veterans Day was moved to the fourth Monday of October. In 1978, it was moved back to its original celebration on the 11th of November.

Today in 2011, I met not just one but TWO veterans of World War II. I was amazed and honored to have been able to talk with them. For as brief as it may have been.

Seventy years ago, the United States the second World War and with both cases of talking with these great men, I wondered how old they were. I did some looking and found out that in the United States, there are less than 2 million veterans alive today. The statistics were showing that almost 1,000 veterans of World War II die each day. In less than fifteen years, all American veterans of World War II will be gone.

Another fascinating fact was that the very last American veteran of World War I was Frank Buckles.

Frank Buckles had died only this past February at the age of 110 years, and 26 days. He enlisted and joined the war at the age of 16, driving motorcycles and other vehicles back and forth to the front lines of the war.

The two men that I spoke to had to have been at least 80 or 90 years old. It was incredible. I gave them a salute and shook their hands.

I am glad that we have the holiday of Veteran’s Day. I think that it really something that is needed. The only other holiday that possibly relates to our veterans and our troops in active duty, would be Independence Day.

But I personally believe that we should honor and remember with respect those who fought for our freedoms and liberty, and do so every day. Not just twice a year.

I have and I have had several members of family that served in the military. Including my very own younger brother who has been through conflict in southern Europe and the Middle East. I am proud of him, proud of my family, and proud of those who fought and died, and those who still live to fight another day so that I can appreciate and enjoy my life as it is today.

The rest of the world, especially in Europe still celebrates the end of World War I as Armistice Day. I think that is really awesome. It is a bit different than what is celebrated in the United States but from what I understand, not by much.

I hope for most of you who are reading this did give thanks to our nation’s veterans. Without them, our way of living could be different in so many ways. The comforts and grand opportunities that we enjoy, could possibly be non-existing without them. They’ve paid for it, we enjoy it.

Happy Veteran’s Day… or Armistice Day to everyone across the world!!!!