November 11 1918

: Winning A Cause World War Stories

Sinners are said sometimes to repent and change their ways at the

eleventh hour; and on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the

eleventh month of the year of 1918, the Kaiser, and other German war

lords, if they did not repent, at least changed their ways, for at that

hour the armistice went into effect and the war was over, with Germany

and her allies humbled and defeated.

November 11 has become one
of the great dates in world history, but it

was already great in the history of the nation whose entrance into the

World War determined beyond question its final result.

In the State House Library in Boston, there lies in a glass case a very

precious manuscript. It is the History of the Plymouth Plantation

written by Governor William Bradford. It is often called The Log of

the Mayflower, for it records the journey of the Mayflower carrying

the Pilgrims to a land of freedom. It tells the story of the forming

of an independent government by members of this little band, strong

only in their faith and in their desire for liberty.

In the glass case the written manuscript lies open at the record of the

solemn compact made in the cabin of the Mayflower in order that all

who look may read and know the aims of these few courageous men and

women in seeking a new world.

This was about 300 years ago, on November 11, 1620. Let us read again

the compact of these brave and adventurous souls, who saw the vision of

democracy, a dream not realized for the whole world until 298 years

later, on November 11, 1918.

In the name of God, Amen. We whose names are under-written, the loyal

subjects of our dread sovereign Lord, King James, by the grace of God,

of Great Britain, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith &c.

having undertaken for the glory of God and advancement of the Christian

faith, and honor of our King and country, a voyage to plant the first

colony in the Northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly

and mutually in the presence of God, and of one another, covenant and

combine ourselves together into a civil body politic, for our better

ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by

virtue hereof to enact, constitute and frame such just and equal laws,

ordinances, acts, constitutions and offices, from time to time, as

shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the

colony, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In

witness whereof we have hereunder subscribed our names at Cape Cod the

11th of November, in the year of the reign of our sovereign lord, King

James, of England, France, and Ireland the eighteenth and of Scotland

the fifty-fourth. Anno Dom. 1620.

It is safe to say that from this agreement which Senator Hoar called

the most important political transaction that has ever taken place

upon the face of the earth, and from this band of Pilgrims, has come

in the three centuries leading up to world democracy a greater

influence for freedom and liberty than from any other single source in

the affairs of men.

How singular that this compact and the armistice with Germany, which is

without doubt the most significant transaction between men in all

recorded history, should both have been signed on November 11! It has

been suggested that hereafter November 11, instead of the last Thursday

in November, should be set aside as Thanksgiving Day. It certainly

should be forever a day of thanksgiving even if it is not made

officially Thanksgiving Day.

Sunday night, November 10, the whole world waited in breathless

suspense. The armistice conditions had been considered by the German

government at a late sitting in Berlin on Sunday afternoon. Hard as

they were, the government decided to accept them and telephoned

instructions to Spa, the headquarters of the German army, authorizing

the German delegates to sign the papers. The messenger was waiting at

Spa to carry the information to the German representatives who were at

Chateau de Francfort with Marshal Foch and Admiral Sir Rosslyn Wemyss,

first lord of the British navy. He reached them at about two o'clock

on Monday morning, November 11, and after some discussion the armistice

was signed at five o'clock, to become effective six hours later.

Saturday and Sunday, November 9 and 10, the whole world stopped,

looked, and listened. Nothing just like it had happened before in the

history of mankind. The world is constantly growing smaller as men

overcome the difficulty of getting quickly from place to place, and

peoples are thereby getting nearer to each other, so that whatever

happens to one is of immediate interest to all others. The following

description of Sunday night and Monday morning in a newspaper office in

a small Massachusetts city is a graphic and interesting account of

scenes that were being enacted at the same time all over the world.