Sunday, Nov. 11, is celebrated in the United States as Veteran’s Day, and it also marks a very important milestone: the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, which was the end of World War I in 1918. Although the cease-fire between the warring powers was signed early in the day, it did not take effect until 11 a.m. local time: “The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.” Time has removed us from direct memory of the war: the last surviving male and female veterans of the war passed away in 2011 and 2012, respectively (both were 110 years old). Nevertheless, this conflict was crucial to world history, and in many ways shaped the majority of the 20th century, both in Europe and worldwide.
World War I began on July 28, 1914, as a result of the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand by a Serbian nationalist. Tensions between Europe’s empires were already at the breaking point, and this event became the spark to ignite a devastating conflict. At the time, it was known as “The Great War” or “The War to End All Wars.” Military technology in the early 20th century had advanced far more rapidly than military tactics, and so the destructiveness of new weapons decimated armies using outdated trench warfare. In only four years, the war claimed over 16 million lives of soldiers and civilians, toppled economies, and crippled millions of young soldiers both physically and mentally, causing them to be called “The Lost Generation.” In addition, it dissolved four empires and four long-ruling dynasties, and contributed to the rise of Communism by fueling the Russian Revolution. When the Treaty of Versailles was signed in 1919, signaling the formal end of the war, most hoped that it meant peace in their time, but the stage was already set for an even more devastating and far-reaching world war beginning in 1939. French Marshal Ferdinand Foch declared: “This is not a peace. It is an armistice for twenty years.” His words proved prophetic, as the Second World War began exactly twenty years and 65 days after the peace treaty was signed.
In honor of the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, the library will have a special display featuring books about the Great War, including two new books: The Illustrated Red Baron: The Life and Times of Manfred von Richthofen, and Germany Ascendant: The Eastern Front 1915. Also, please remember Veteran’s Day by taking a moment this coming week to thank a veteran for their service.
See the schedule below for the library’s activities this week. For more detailed information on any library events, programs, or resources, check out our website (www.greatbendpl.info), send us an email (email@example.com), or call the circ desk (620-792-2409). You can also “like” and follow GBPL on Facebook.
Michael Adamyk is the Marketing and Technical Services Manager at the Great Bend Public Library. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Great Bend Public Library Weekly Schedule
Saturday, November 10
10 a.m.: Book & Breakfast
Monday, November 12
4 p.m.: Innovation Station: Dinosaurs
5 p.m.: Teen writing club
6 p.m.: Crochet club
Tuesday, November 13
9:30 a.m. & 6 p.m.: Baby Bounce Class
10:30 a.m. & 6:30 p.m.: Early Literacy Storytime
6 p.m.: Bookish Art: Bookmarks
6 p.m.: Family School Literacy Night: Eisenhower Elementary
Thursday, November 15
4 p.m.: Chapter Chats
5 p.m.: Adulting 101: Self-defense class
6 p.m.: Open Genealogy Group
6 p.m.: Family School Literacy Night: Lincoln Elementary