Armistice Day. The day we remember the end of the First World War. An occasion to remember 8.5 million soldiers who died across the World during the four years the world was at war. A time to pay respect to those that have fallen in all the conflicts that have followed. A day to honour those who continue to stand in the gap.
In fact, Armistice Day only commemorates the signing of a cease-fire. That was a day when sparked wild celebrations across Europe. BBC History Magazine describes the day as a “wonderful carnival rather than a mournful seriousness that” the day has become. The permanent peace treaty wouldn’t be signed for another 7 months. The terms of the treaty, known as the Treaty of Versaille, were so harsh that it left our Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, to predict that another war would need to be fought in 25 years’ time. Many regarded it to be a key factor in the rise of German Nationalism that gave way to Adolf Hitler’s Nazi party. Lloyd George’s ominous words came true when, in 1939, Britain declared war on Germany. In a symbolic action, the same train carriage in which the November 1918 armistice was signed was later used by Hitler when he accepted France’s surrender to the German forces in 1940.
How we commemorate Armistice Day should be balanced with what we believe about God and the Gospel. John Drake wrote a great article for the Bible Society in which he explores God’s way of remembering. At one point he states:
remembrance … as a way of inspiring people to new possibilities grounded in God’s grace
Remembrance is a call to look back and hope in Christ for a better future. Click the link below to read John’s article.