Armistice Day in 1940 — 80 years ago

80 years ago — December 4, 1940

It is with inevitable and irrepressible sadness that we come to celebrate Armistice Day in the world of 1940. … Whether the news of peace came to us on the actual field of battle or in the tranquil surroundings of the homeland far from the danger of conflict, it brought to all alike a sense of relief from the crushing burden and horror of war; a feeling of hope that a better world was about to be born. … The things we rejoiced in 1918 are all “gone with the wind.” … The millions who laid down their lives in the first World War would now appear to have died in vain, for scarcely one of the ends which they sought endures today. The cessation of hostilities which came twenty-two years ago has proven to be in reality an “armistice” rather than a “peace.” Today the nations of Europe and of Asia are locked in conflict more awful than the past has known. … Our own country, which scarcely a year ago fancied herself to be secure regardless of what might come in Europe, has within recent months passed a peace time conscription bill for the first time in her history, and today arms herself with feverish haste against perils which are all too real.

From “Armistice Day in 1940” by J. McDowell Richards