Today is 11/11.

In America, we call it Veterans Day. It used to be called Armistice Day because on 11/11 at 11:11 PM a treaty was signed ending World War I in 1918. It was a day when Americans celebrated the end of the most devastating war in the history of the world. Most people didn’t even know why they were fighting. An archduke named Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in 1914 by a group of Serbian militants called the Black Hand. Their first attempt failed when a driver avoided a grenade thrown at their car; however, later that day, a Serbian nationalist named Gavrilo Princip assassinated him and his wife while they were in Sarajevo, Bosnia, which was part of Austria-Hungary. This was in protest to Austria-Hungary having gained control of Serbia. Because of various treaties and nationalistic alliances, the Germans sided with Austria-Hungry and the Russians sided with Serbia. Germany declared war on Russia, and in a few months a great part of the world had taken sides. The result was 38 million deaths due to combat, civilian casualties and the flu epidemic that spread worldwide by returning soldiers.  World War I changed the map as countries starting dividing up Africa and the Middle East. England took Israel and partitioned the Holy Land causing ill effects that linger today. Africa was divided up with a measuring stick instead of by tribes and people groups which, still today, is causing bloody wars.  Many great novels and literature came out of World War I including “All Quiet On The Western Front”:
“I am young, I am twenty years old; yet I know nothing of life but despair, death, fear, and fatuous superficiality cast over an abyss of sorrow. I see how peoples are set against one another, and in silence, unknowingly, foolishly, obediently, innocently slay one another.”
― Erich Maria RemarqueAll Quiet on the Western Front

“The Lord of the Rings” was written by a WW I veteran, J.R.R. Tolkien. In this book, Tolkien captures many of the feelings of the WWI soldier, and, in the end, the devastation even the victors felt.

“The enemy? His sense of duty was no less than yours, I deem. You wonder what his name is, where he came from. And if he was really evil at heart. What lies or threats led him on this long march from home? If he would not rather have stayed there in peace. War will make corpses of us all.”
― J.R.R. TolkienThe Lord of the Rings


“Fear nothing! Have peace until the morning! Heed no nightly noises!”
― J.R.R. TolkienThe Lord of the Rings

“And some things that should not have been forgotten were lost. History became legend. Legend became myth. And for two and a half thousand years, the ring passed out of all knowledge.”
― J.R.R. TolkienThe Lord of the Rings


Biographers of Tolkien have suggested that many of the dialogues in “Lord of the Rings” were most likely things that Tolkien actually heard in the trenches of WW1.

Here is perhaps Tolkien’s most memorable quote:

On this Veterans Day, may we salute those who served freedom and those who paid the highest price.  May we pray God’s protection for our military and above all else, thank God for the price He paid through the shed blood of His only begotten Son, that we may have new and abundant life.

Stay Blessed,

Pastor Danny

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