Armistice Day

Lest We Forget. Armistice Day Centenary Armistice Day, which is also known as Remembrance Day or Poppy Day, is commemorated every year on 11 November and this year is its centenary (1918 – 2018).

Armistice Day marks the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Remembrance DayWestern Front of World War I, which took effect at eleven o’clock in the morning — the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918. The armistice initially expired after a period of 36 days. A formal peace agreement was only reached when the Treaty of Versailles was signed the following year.[1]

In South Africa one of the first instances where this tradition was honoured was at a church service in Cape Town. The city was in mourning after the publication of South Africa’s first casualty list from Word War I in 1916. A local businessman, Mr. J.A. Eggar, proposed that the congregation at a church service should keep a minute’s silence to honour the ‘Fallen.’ At the time it received no publicity.

Cape Town two-minute silence 1918 (Pic: SA History Online)On 27 October 1919, the famous South African author[2], politician and mining financier, Sir James Percy FitzPatrick proposed through Lord Milner, the former High Commissioner for South Africa, the idea of a two-minute silence, which proposition was presented to King George V that a moment of silence be observed annually on November 11 in honour of the dead of World War I. This had been a daily practice in Cape Town from April 1918 onward, since being proposed by Sir Harry Hands[3]. On 17 November, King George proclaimed that ‘at the hour when Armistice came into force, the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, there may be for the brief space of two minutes a complete suspension of all our normal activities . . . so that in perfect stillness, the thoughts of everyone may be concentrated on reverent remembrance of the glorious dead.’

Delville-wood, 1916 First World War Trenches People observe a one or more commonly a two-minute moment of silence at 11:00 a.m. local time. It is a sign of respect for, in the first minute, the estimated 20 million people who died in the war (1914-1918), and in the second minute dedicated to the living left behind, generally understood to be wives, children and families left behind but deeply affected by the conflict.

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We remember all who have given their lives in both the World Wars I & II and all other wars of conflict around the world, not forgetting the South African soldiers who lost their lives in WWI&II, the Border War and the Rhodesian Bush War defending all people groups against communism and socialistic tyranny.

13  Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. ~ John 15:13

16  Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. ~ 1 John 3:16

Memorial Wall

However, there is another war that rages on daily and this conflict is for the souls of men. As millions of unsaved souls have been lost in past wars, as Christians we are commissioned to reach the souls of men who stand upon the edge of hell and damnation in the eternal lake of fire which is the second death (read Revelation 20:14, 21:8). For as a Christian this Scripture is true, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12). And, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) (2 Corinthians 10:3,4).

For we have been warned,

17  For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
18  And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? ~ 1 Peter 4:17,18

22  And of some have compassion, making a difference: 
23  And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. ~ Jude 22,23

15  And he [JESUS] said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 
16  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
~ Mark 16:15,16

Soli Deo Gloria____________________

Related Blog-post: Remembrance Day 2015

Sources: King James Bible, Wikipedia, SAMVOA (South African Military Veterans Organisation of Australasia)

1 Shushkewich, Val (12 September 2005). The real Winnie : a one-of-a-kind bear. Natural Heritage Books. p. 42. ISBN 9781554883509.

2 Author of Jock of the Bushveld. Originally published in 1907. 

3 "Cape Town’s WWI Mayor – Sir Harry Hands" (PDF).

[Note – Last paragraphs after the “Memorial Wall” picture added on 12 November 2018]

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