There’s always supposed to be a formal time and date to cease hostilities between opposing forces. There’s always supposed to be a treat or formalized agreement signed by dignitaries who know that the life span of that document will be somewhat less than the time required for all signers to travel home.
There are always changes in borders defining which combatants now control which bits of terrain, unless one combatant happens to be Israel. Of course, many of the problems in today’s middle eastern wars stem from the final actions of the allies as WWI ended and the old empires were carved up and handed around as bonuses to the Allies who defeated the Central Powers.
WWI ended with the loss of millions of soldiers as the methods of slaughter were improved by industrial design. The battle field became more lethal than anyone could have imagined but the use of maneuver units remained based upon methods dating back to the earliest recorded conflicts.
WWII followed on quickly as the technology of mass murder evolved into methods of killing that were truly apocalyptic in efficiency and hellish in nature. As always, WWII ended with the declaration that future wars would now be impossible, as no people or nation wished to bring about so much death and horror into the world.
We rapidly discovered that such hopes had no foundation in reality. We’ve failed to enjoy a decade that was not marked by wars in some manner.
There’s no reason to believe that the future will be any less brutal. We’re ramping up to recycle the war in Iraq.
There have always been the thin red line, the long gray line, historic combat units tracing their histories back to some war, some land seizure, some national insult, religious intolerance, or any other event that one can imagine.
I’ve played my part in this eternal game. I’m among the luckier participants. I left the game with all the moving parts intact. The injuries I received were less visible and less audible.
Today, Veteran’s day, remembrance day, what ever name you know it by, once again honors the fallen and advances that slight hope that the next time we hear the guns fall silent, they will truly remain silent.