World War I thoughts

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The Royal Prince and Princess of Hungary and Bohemia, Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie. They were assassinated in Sarajevo on June 28th, 1914.

I knew very little about World War I. But since the next and final book of the

Goodbye, Belvidere series starts with young Isaac heading to Europe in 1917 to join the Allies in battle, I’ve been researching. I had already discovered the murder of Franz and Sophie prompted  Germany and Austria to declare war on Serbia. I’ve read detailed accounts of countries lining up with other countries to prevent invasions and to preserve boundary lines. I’ve seen videos of the trenches, and of the deadly clouds of chlorine gas.  I’ve listened to clips of historians who claim the war was catastrophic, transformational, violent, (19,000 men killed in one day) and one disgruntled fellow declared it to be ‘dumb’.

The battles started with horses, and ended with airplanes. And so say the historians, it changed the world. The old order thought they could fight hand to hand combat. The more realistic ones knew men charging across fields into continuous shelling had no chance. The technical age sprang into being, with factories gearing up for war. Gunners were put on flimsy planes, and aviation heroes came into being.

President Wilson argued for negotiations. Europe ignored him. And finally, in April of 1917, the United States joined the Great War, and men were drafted across the country into camps ill prepared for training. That surprised me. I thought we would have had up to date facilities, but instead the norm seemed to be shoddy buildings, tents for the draftees, and a scarcity of food.

But our boys charged in with fresh vigor, and over a year later, at the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11 month, an armistice was signed. Armistice Day. Veteran’s day. We honor those brave men who were willing to die to keep the rest of us free.

And there’s so much more to ponder. What about the immigrants who came to the United States and started a new life, only to sent their sons back to Europe to fight in the trenches against their homeland? I think it must have been a bit heart breaking. I’d never thought about this aspect before. Anyway, the last book of the series will give a glimpse of the Great War. I hope Isaac comes home.

Have a good and Godly day, and thank a veteran!

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