World War I doesn’t get its props

above-the-dreamless-dead-1I was reading about World War I trench poetry remembered in comics anthology, and it hit me how relatively little most Americans know about the first World War (1914-1918), the “War to end all wars,” as someone put it, terribly incorrectly.

And it’s not its remoteness in time (1914-1918). We’re in the midst of the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War (1861-1865), with a pretty fair breakdown of every important battle.

As the article noted: “Of the two, World War II may be the one explored more often in pop culture…” Indeed, Tom Brokaw’s book title, The Greatest Generation, has been adopted as a truth about those post-Depression young soldiers from the US going off to war after Pearl Harbor.

…but World War I… was important as well… More than 16 million people were killed, the war began an era of industrialized warfare, and it caused the redrawing of the map of Europe and the Near East.

Those partitions have geopolitical implications to this day.

Shooting Parrots wrote about tunnel master John Norton-Griffiths and Alf Price, who punched a 19 year old Prince Wilhelm in the nose.

Back in June, Jaquandor noted A Century since the Conflagration.

Of course, what’s now known as Veterans Day commemorates the end of World War I. It’s Remembrance Day in other countries, and used to be called Armistice Day. Armistice is such a quaint word.

There’s some melancholy song on the first Paul Simon solo album called Armistice Day.


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