That is the name used to commemorate the day the Armistice was signed , ending The Great War 1914-18. We limp along, bearing the cultural, political, and societal scars of this catastrophe, even today.
The legacy of that war is the carnage of its spawn, the brutal second act of 1937-45. Her memorials need only names to convey the horrors, Nanking, Katyn, Coventry, Leningrad, Stalingrad, Auschwitz, Hiroshima.
A peace that gave monsters free reign to wreak havoc was no peace at all. Yet the pipe dream that was Versailles continues to seduce us. We’ve moved the locus of reverie, from Geneva to New York and Brussels.
I don’t have a solution to alleviate the consequences of human sin. We might want to keep the swords in the scabbards, the drones and the bombers on the tarmac, and the aircraft carriers in port. But even those gestures are but more of the same simplistic fantasy. Maybe I will reread Auden’s September 1, 1939…….
And remember the compassion of St. Martin of Tours, whose Feast Day is today.