A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

For Veteran's Day/Armistice Day/Remembrance Day

While today in the US Veteran's Day honors all military veterans, the date originally marked the moment, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the guns fell silent 97 years ago today. My parents' generation still called November 11 "Armistice Day," even after they had witnessed an even greater war than the Great War.

It is a cliche to say that World War I created the modern Middle East, but it is also true. Westerners often forget just how bloody the war was in the Middle East, not just for Armenians and Assyrians but for Turks as well. As we have been going through the 100th anniversaries of the war in our region, I've tried to call attention to some of the forgotten fronts in that war. This will continue. Although the Ottoman Empire signed an Armistice in October at Mudros, it is worth using this day to remember all who fought on both sides in that war, not forgetting the ANZACs and Indians fighting for the British Empire (or the Moroccan and Algerian spahis and goumiers who fought for France).

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