Armistice Day Centenary
One hundred years ago, anno Domini MCMXVIII, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the declaration of cease-fire and signing of the terms of Armistice to initiate the talks that would become the Treaty of Versailles ended the global upheaval of the Great War.
President Woodrow Wilson’s 14 Point Plan, proposed the January prior, included pleas addressed to the “Heads of the Belligerent Peoples” by His Holiness, Pope Benedict XV, of happy memory, in the Peace Letter of the 1st day of August, A.D. MCMXVII. Therein was contained a plea on behalf of the noble historical traditions and sufferings of the peoples of Armenia, the Balkans, and the ancient territories of the Kingdom of Poland.
Point 13 of Wilson’s plan called for the establishment of an independent Poland between the borders of a rising Bolshevist Russia and the borders of a Germany falling into revolution.
Neither Point 11 of Wilson’s Plan, calling for assurances to guarantee the independence of the peoples of the Balkans, nor Point 12, calling for restriction of the collapsed Ottoman Empire to the borders of the peoples of Turkey who dismiss their hand in the Armenian Genocide to this very day, have had the lasting effects for which Pope Benedict XV plead.
The Federal Republic of Germany, reunified following a Second World War and subsequent occupation by the now-collapsed United Soviet Socialist Republic, completed its payment of reparations for the damages of First World War on the 3rd day of October, A.D. MMX.
On a Sunday, anno Domini MMXVIII at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the tolling of the bells above Saint Peter’s Square marked the centenary of the Armistice, the cessation of arms of the Great War, ringing out the commemoration of that historic victory over the Enemy of Peace and Good Will among men.