WW1 Armistice General Pershing returns home

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WW1 Armistice General Pershing returns home
Posted by Miningman on Saturday, November 10, 2018 10:19 PM

General Pershing waving from the observation car upon his return. PRR Link at bottom. Thanks to Mike 

Wilmington Morning News, Sept. 13, 1919
Wilmington was Pershing's heart and soul yesterday. The nation's hero smiled and bowed himself into the affections of the people of the city in the same simple and unassuming manner in which he has won their admiration. It took just eighteen minutes to turn 15,000 Delawareans into hero-worshippers of the most ardent kind. Bowing, smiling, waving his arm, saluting, General John J. Pershing became the focus for 15,000 pairs of eyes as whistles blew, a band of forty pieces played and the opening bars of the National Anthem were sung as his train pulled into French street station at 1:16 o'clock yesterday afternoon. Thousands lined the northbound platform, thousands filled every vantage point on the central platform and many more were on the northbound track, while others hung to roofs adjoining the railroad station or clung to perilous positions wherever a glimpse of Black Jack Pershing might be had. Standing erect on the back platform, living up to his reputation of being one of the most military-looking figures in the Great War, General Pershing looked over a sea of faces and a veritable forest of waving arms, handkerchiefs and hats. The cheering was infectious and tumultuous. It could not be stilled long enough to allow Mayor Taylor to make his welcoming speech, nor was it without difficulty that the applauding thousands were silenced long enough to listen to the General's few, modest words of answer to the city's greeting. But once his words had begun to flow there was a silence that was intense, one of the profoundest tributes given to America's greatest heroes during his short stay here… General Pershing's Speech: "Your Honor, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the honor you pay me and extend thanks to the people of Wilmington for such a display of patriotism, for that is really what it is. I was but one member of the American Expeditionary Forces in Europe and I interpret this gathering as an expression of the appreciation of the glowing achievements of the whole American army. What they did is to the credit of the entire nation. Delaware did her share. Wilmington did its share. But victory could not have been accomplished except for the determination of our people to maintain the principle of liberty for which our forefathers fought. The spirit of our army was the spirit of the people. It was the men and the women, and let us not forget the children, who gave us the inspiration we needed. Permit me to thank you again for the honor you have paid me today. It was a kindly thought which prompted this scene today. I thank you."

 

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, November 11, 2018 12:52 AM
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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, November 11, 2018 10:33 AM

Thanks Mike!  And thanks Miningman for passing it along!

Here's a recoding from 1918 featuring General Pershing.  Not only did he look the part of a general, he even sounded like one!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sg3rZwQ2oUQ

In studying the period, I've seen there's really two John J. Pershings.  There's the wartime commander, who looks stern, serious, and pretty formidable.  But then when the war's over, you see him smiling, joking, laughing, pretty obvious he's a whole different person when the burden's lifted.

Pretty much in the same way you don't see that famous big Eisenhower smile until after V-E day.

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Posted by BaltACD on Sunday, November 11, 2018 10:55 AM

Firelock76
Thanks Mike!  And thanks Miningman for passing it along!

Here's a recoding from 1918 featuring General Pershing.  Not only did he look the part of a general, he even sounded like one!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sg3rZwQ2oUQ

In studying the period, I've seen there's really two John J. Pershings.  There's the wartime commander, who looks stern, serious, and pretty formidable.  But then when the war's over, you see him smiling, joking, laughing, pretty obvious he's a whole different person when the burden's lifted.

Pretty much in the same way you don't see that famous big Eisenhower smile until after V-E day.

Imortalized as The General Pershing Zephyr

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, November 11, 2018 11:08 AM

Watched an interview yesterday with his granddaughter on a news channel. Fascinating, great talk. She stated he came from a very poor farm. The family could not afford to send him on to any kind of college so he enlisted in order to further his education. Not like he had a straight path to West Point, it was a hard go to get there. 

His humble beginnings always made him identify more with the regular soldiers, and although a very tough guy he was a friend of the common man and soldier. 

Quite right Firelock... he certainly looks the part of General.  

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Posted by Jones1945 on Sunday, November 11, 2018 11:30 AM

BaltACD

Imortalized as The General Pershing Zephyr

I really like the Pershing Zephyr, if only diesel power was developed base on the form and style of the Zephyr. The six-wheel truck was not for everyone but I think it was the most interesting part of it. 

 

A Korean National CS-2 2-8-0s: 

Background history: http://donsdepot.donrossgroup.net/dr142.htm

"The second group of Consolidation, Class 2, were sent to Korea in 1947. There were 100 of the World War II USArmy S160 locomotives which were numbered 1 thru 100. In addition, there was a World War I Pershing which was numbered 101. It had been built by Baldwin in 1917. It was later renumbered 765 in honor of the shop battalion at Pusan, where it served as a shop goat. Later it was renumbered back to 101 and sent to the National Railway Museum at Green Bay, WI, by the Korean government in 1959."

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, November 11, 2018 11:59 AM

I just thought of another few personal Pershing anecdotes.

Back in the 80's we were at an antique show in northern New Jersey.  One of the exhibitors had a group photograph of General Pershing and some of his staff with some local dignitaries titled "General Pershing visits Cresskill NJ."

I was looking at the photo and my friend Charlie comes over.  "What are you lookin' at Wayne?" 

"I'm looking for someone in that photo that should  be there, and yep, there he is!"

"Who is it?

"It's George Marshall.  He was Pershing's chief of staff at the time, and you know he went on to become the first Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during World War Two."

"Oh yeah, that's him all right!"

Just then the exhibitor came over, he'd overheard me, looked at the photo and his eyes got as big as saucers.  He reached over and took the photo down.

"Sorry guys, I'm keeping this one!"  He looked the right age for a World War Two veteran.  I can't say I blame him but I was going to buy it myself!

Just about the same time I went to a militaria show and there was a two-volume set of Pershing's "My Experiences In The World War" and autographed by the man himself.  The seller wanted $50.  I had a brain-blockage and passed it up.

WHAT was I thinking?  I've been kicking myself in the butt ever since!

A sad note, General Pershing's grandson, 2d/Lt Richard Pershing USA, 101st Airborne Division, was killed in Vietnam.  They're buried side by side in Arlington National Cemetery.

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, November 11, 2018 1:38 PM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKCigLVIIKk

Above is a short Pathe clip with General Pershing and President Roosevelt for Veterans Day ceremonies. 

Remembrance Day up here is a really a big deal and has always centered around WWI. There isn't a town across the country that does not have a WWI memorial. There were also canon in parks all over the place. Used to play on them as a kid.  

Just to add. Canada was in WWI alongside Britain right from the start in August 1914, some 3 years before US involvement. With a population of 8 million there was not a town that did not lose young men and the feel the effects. 

Everyone wears a poppy a week ahead of time for as long as I can remember. Everyone.

We live in a world today that is shaped by the consequences of WWI. Recently Bosnia and even more recently the rise of Islamic extremism and all those artifically imposed borders in the Middle East. Even Putin's Russia, searching for a path forward for its future and how it is to be. 

To get back to Railroads, it brings up the question once again as to how the border was handled with the New York Central's CASO and Ottawa lines and the Great Northern into Manitoba and British Columbia. Also Pere Marquette and Wabash through Southern Ontario, Detroit/Windsor to Buffalo/Fort Erie.  There is virtually no documentation or record of what transpired and I'm sure things were tightened up and watched closely with restrictions. Also security with armed troops at stations and bridges. Those were very active and busy lines in those days of 1914 and throughout the war.

My instincts tell me things were generally cooperative and friendly but a watchful eye was ever present. 

Late Edit:

Just watched this all on the CBC a short while ago. Firelock will enjoy the Piper. Very moving, very stirring. Thanks a whole bunch to Mike.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XmYI6rw4sE&t=1h2m

 

 

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, November 11, 2018 2:55 PM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWJCXuaa_pE

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015024036462;view=1up;seq=44;size=125

Something called the Ogdensburg Declaration. 1940, before America's involvement in WWII, to assure the security of North America and America itself. Meeting between Prime Minister McKenzie King and President Roosevelt at Ogdensburg, NY. 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, November 11, 2018 4:46 PM

November 11th used to be called "Armistice Day" here in the US, and part of the observations were at 11:00 on that day everything came to a halt for a minute of silence for those lost.  In the big citys it was quite a sight to see.

Then in the 1950's considering there had been two wars since 1918 it was changed to Veterans Day.  Just fine, but sad in a way because it pushed the World War One vets into the background a lot faster than they might have been otherwise.

Uusally on Veterans Day I display an assortment of American service flags in addition to the Stars and Stripes, but considering today was the 100th anniversary of the Armistice I went a little different.

I put out a correct for the period 48 star flag from the collection, an Italian flag for my grandfather who fought in the Italian army during WWI, an old Newfoundland Red Ensign and an old Canadian Red Ensign for Lady Firestorms Canadian connections.  Man, that old Canadian Red Ensign looked good!  Very dramatic and striking!

And those Canadians that fought the First World War were damn good soldiers!  And as far as I know there was no consciption in Canada during the First War, they were all volunteers.  I might be wrong on that though.

 

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, November 11, 2018 5:00 PM

You are correct Firelock. No conscription. Vimy Ridge was our greatest moment. 

Nice presentation with the Flags . Good for you.

Back when I lived in Burlington we had a genuine vexillophile across the street and a couple down from our house. He had a huge v shaped array with multiple poles and flag hanging locations. Every day there was 5, 10, 20 flags flapping away. He had thousands of flags. Interesting guy. 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, November 11, 2018 6:03 PM

Vexillophile, now that's a word you don't hear every day!  I guess you could say I'm one myself.  Flags and their stories (and controversies) are quite a fascinating study when you get into them, I've been hooked on 'em for years.

PS:  I just watched the Remembrance Day ceremony from Ottawa.  Very impressive and moving.  The war memorial and tomb of your Unknown Soldier is just beautiful.

And there's just something about bagpipes, isn't there? 

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Posted by M636C on Sunday, November 11, 2018 6:22 PM

I spent Sunday morning at the Australian War Memorial, only a block from my home. A very impressive operation, opened in the rather unfortunate year of 1942.

Our Prime Minister came as did most of the ambassadors. We don't have a US Ambassador. You know that your country isn't regarded as a threat when you can go a couple of years without a US Ambassador. The US Naval Attache laid a wreath in the absence of an Ambassador. Our Governor General was in in France, of course.

To return to Pershing, the trailing car of the General Pershing Zephyr is in Australia, having been used by BHP as a Business Car. It was called Sundowner but has its original name of Silver Star back. It is now used as a cafe in Port Hedland quite near the harbour. Pershing's signature was engraved on a stainless steel plate on the car's rear door, and is still visible. The cafe is very popular and serves a lot of take away coffees, as well as full meals.

Peter

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, November 11, 2018 9:47 PM

Well I'll be darned. A Burlington General Pershing Zephyr car in Australia and now a coffee shop to boot. Glad for that and thanks for passing that on.

Like ourselves and New Zealand, and other Commonwealth countries, Australia was in both wars from the start, so we share that commonality. I'm sure WW1 is just as much of a serious remembrance as it is here. WWII as well. Think you guys had your hands full with the Japanese and the Pacific in WWII. We had troops in Singapore when it fell and attached to other British units. Many into forced labour. 

Now how the heck did a mining company end up with a Zephyr car from the US? 

We had a small ceremony this am at our Library. Very cold and snowing. Watched the CBC feed from Ottawa, then Mike very kindly sent to me as well and I posted. The first 5 minutes or so is well worth watching. Rest of the day I watched the HBO show 'Band of Brothers' which is still on, playing all the episodes, stayed warm and indoors and monitored the Forum and posted. Great day. Tomorrow is a holiday for Remembrance Day since it fell on a Sunday this year. 

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Posted by M636C on Sunday, November 11, 2018 10:25 PM

Now how the heck did a mining company end up with a Zephyr car from the US?

One of the original joint venture partners was an American company called AMAX. I'm sure you know more about them than I do. Apparently the "Silver Star" was between engagements and the CEO of AMAX bought it and had it shipped to Port Hedland in 1974. There were four cars, 300-303. At least two are in museums in the USA. For some reason, Silver Star, 301, was the oldest.

A movie was played earlier in the week "The Railwayman" about British prisoners on the Burma Railway in Thailand. I'd seen it a couple of times before, but actually noticed that it was an Australian production. The railway scenes in the UK and in Thailand are remarkably good.

I've mentioned before that my father served in Africa and the Pacific in WWII and he never owned a Japanese car. An uncle served in WWI on the Western Front and suffered from a gas attack and was classified "Totally and Permanently Incapacitated". Despite this he was quite active and appeared quite bright and outgoing.

At the ceremony on Sunday there was a big turnout of bikers from the "Veterans Motorcycle Club". This was originally called "Vietnam Veterans Motorcycle Club", but the first word was dropped to take account of all the subsequent wars. I noted Somalia, Rwanda and Afghanistan listed on the jackets. The club symbol is a skull with the Australian Army "slouch" hat. This first appeared in an early 1970s movie called "Stone" (about Vietnam Veterans) and was adopted in real life with permission from the filmmakers...

Peter

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, November 12, 2018 6:12 AM

Miningman
I'm sure WW1 is just as much of a serious remembrance as it is here.

Does the movie "Gallipoli" ring a bell?

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Posted by Jones1945 on Monday, November 12, 2018 10:09 AM

Overmod

Does the movie "Gallipoli" ring a bell?

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Posted by Miningman on Monday, November 12, 2018 10:29 AM

The inference is that in Commonwealth countries the Remembrance Day ceremonies held on November 11 each year has a stronger emphasis on WWI. All the wars are remembered and honoured that day as well, including Korea and Afghanistan actions. 

The 'Great War', so named because we didn't know there would be WWII, had a profound effect on a far smaller population here and a fledgling Dominion barely 50 years old. The poem Flanders Fields and the poppy have become one with Remembrance Day. Vimy Ridge is considered a 'coming of age' event, a nation apart from Great Britain.

Just not sure if the same emphasis exists in Australia. The close by threat of Japan in the Pacific and bombing of Darwin, actions in Borneo and such, might place greater remembrance on WWII down under. 

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Posted by Miningman on Monday, November 12, 2018 1:57 PM
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Posted by M636C on Monday, November 12, 2018 4:16 PM

Miningman

The inference is that in Commonwealth countries the Remembrance Day ceremonies held on November 11 each year has a stronger emphasis on WWI. All the wars are remembered and honoured that day as well, including Korea and Afghanistan actions. 

The 'Great War', so named because we didn't know there would be WWII, had a profound effect on a far smaller population here and a fledgling Dominion barely 50 years old. The poem Flanders Fields and the poppy have become one with Remembrance Day. Vimy Ridge is considered a 'coming of age' event, a nation apart from Great Britain.

Just not sure if the same emphasis exists in Australia. The close by threat of Japan in the Pacific and bombing of Darwin, actions in Borneo and such, might place greater remembrance on WWII down under. 

 

The emphasis on the First World War declined as the last of the veterans died.

Of course we have ANZAC Day (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) Day on 25 April which commemorates the date of the landings on Gallipoli. While the ceremonies are much the same, there are parades of veterans (and current serving servicemen) on ANZAC Day. The road leading to the War Memorial is named "ANZAC Parade" and is lined with gardens of brush plants from Gallipoli. The road is aligned with Parliament House on the opposite side of the lake.

The War Memorial was opened to commemorate the First World War and its expansion to include later conflicts hasn't been straight forward. There are plans to expand dramatically the exhibition areas (while attempting to maintain some integrity with the old building) to cover Australia's continuing involvement in more recent conflicts.

The real problem began at the end of the Vietnam War, which was not popularly supported, and vetrans were not given "welcome home" parades. This combined with the usual post war problems of stress and PTSD resulted in conflict between veterans of more recent wars with those from WWII (who were entrenched in the "official" veterans organisations.)

So the result has been that while both dates bookend Australia's involvement in World War I, care is taken to appear inclusive of veterans from more recent conflicts. I don't think Canada has been as involved in such recent conflicts, although it was much more involved in the "Cold War".

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Posted by Miningman on Monday, November 12, 2018 5:07 PM

Thank you M636C. Good to know and have the right perspective.

Recent Canadian participation in conflicts: 516 dead in Korea, 23 dead in Bosnia, 158 Iraq, 159 Afghanistan. Not officially involved in Vietnam but 30,000 Canadians volunteered in the US Army, ( 134 dead)  and we took in a similar number 'coming the other way, conscientious objectors'. 

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Posted by M636C on Monday, November 12, 2018 6:32 PM

Miningman

Thank you M636C. Good to know and have the right perspective.

Recent Canadian participation in conflicts: 516 dead in Korea, 23 dead in Bosnia, 158 Iraq, 159 Afghanistan. Not officially involved in Vietnam but 30,000 Canadians volunteered in the US Army, ( 134 dead)  and we took in a similar number 'coming the other way, conscientious objectors'. 

 

Australia was not involved in Bosnia and I don't know how we became involved in Africa, in Rwanda and Somalia. We were in Iraq and Afghanistan, but in very small numbers, mainly special forces, and providing air support. We have had ships in the Gulf since the first Iraq war. We have had our own problems in the Pacific Islands, Bougainville and East Timor in the Indian Ocean. I remember going to a celebration of the RAAF 77 Squadron returning from the Korean War as a child. They had gone to Japan with the occupation forces and never made it back until the mid 1950s. They flew Gloster Meteors, which replaced the Mustangs they left with. By chance the serial numbers of the Meteors were prefixed A77. I remember inspecting a De Havilland Vampire and being amazed that the wing was made of wood.

ANZAC Parade is lined with memorials and there has been a rash of new ones recently. The biggest of these is for the Boer War in South Africa which consists of three horsemen reproduced to twice normal size. The Korean Memorial is a forest of stainless steel rods, each representing a casualty.

Strangely, there is a memorial to Kemal Attaturk closest to the War Memorial itself and (of course) a memorial to Greek resistance fighters immediately opposite it, bringing home a long history of conflicts that we have not been involved with.

One day I'll walk down and look at all the memorials. I'll probably find new ones I've never seen...

Peter

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Posted by Firelock76 on Monday, November 12, 2018 8:26 PM

Jones1945
 
BaltACD

Imortalized as The General Pershing Zephyr

 

 

I really like the Pershing Zephyr, if only diesel power was developed base on the form and style of the Zephyr. The six-wheel truck was not for everyone but I think it was the most interesting part of it. 

 

A Korean National CS-2 2-8-0s: 

Background history: http://donsdepot.donrossgroup.net/dr142.htm

"The second group of Consolidation, Class 2, were sent to Korea in 1947. There were 100 of the World War II USArmy S160 locomotives which were numbered 1 thru 100. In addition, there was a World War I Pershing which was numbered 101. It had been built by Baldwin in 1917. It was later renumbered 765 in honor of the shop battalion at Pusan, where it served as a shop goat. Later it was renumbered back to 101 and sent to the National Railway Museum at Green Bay, WI, by the Korean government in 1959."

 

It was nice of the Koreans to send back that Pershing locomotive, but I kinda wish they'd sent back that Erie K-1 the Erie Railroad gave them instead.

Oh well, they didn't have to send anything back when you come right down to it.  Very nice of them to do what they did at any rate.

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Posted by Miningman on Monday, November 12, 2018 11:45 PM

Pull up a chair next to illuminatae Macron, Merkel, Putin and President Trump, light up a smoke, twist off a brewski, and enjoy Lavel's Bolero. Don't let them stare at you. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IupgJIyz9_g&t=1h1m44s  hypnotic monotony

 

 

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Posted by Jones1945 on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 2:04 AM

Firelock76

It was nice of the Koreans to send back that Pershing locomotive, but I kinda wish they'd sent back that Erie K-1 the Erie Railroad gave them instead.

Oh well, they didn't have to send anything back when you come right down to it.  Very nice of them to do what they did at any rate.

I once thought about starting a post about all American steam engines served outside the US for different reasons, but since my energy drained out very fast recently so I haven't started yet. : )

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Posted by M636C on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 6:34 AM

Vimy Ridge is considered a 'coming of age' event, a nation apart from Great Britain.

I missed this line....

Gallipoli fills this role for both Australia and New Zealand.

There has been an active campaign to raise the profile of the Western Front relative to Gallipoli but it hasn't been that successful. The most recent campaign has been to raise the profile of John Monash, an Australian general on the Western Front. Taken at face value, it could be assumed that Monash single handedly won the war. Of course he didn't have much competition from the British General Staff as a whole, and it was the troops that did the actual fighting. The arrival of the US Army may have helped, too.

But it is interesting that three Dominions came to the same conclusion at the same time.

In fact it wasn't until 1942 when the USA became a preferred source of equipment (although local construction of military aircraft to US designs started in 1938).

The real indication in Australia is the annual celebration of the Battle of the Coral Sea, which I remember from my earliest school days. The celebration still occurs but is much less prominent today.

Peter

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 7:08 AM

Miningman
enjoy Lavel's Bolero.

They picked the wrong Bolero to commemorate the Great War

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2_BuZNTk-w

 

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Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 11:12 AM

But...when in France....one must be grateful.

I would have thought the 100 year anniversary of WWI ending would be a real big deal. Certainly more meaningful and substantial speeches instead of a bunch of posturing, virtue signalling and empty headed rhetoric.  

Well I'm sure the food was first class and up to snuff. Now eat your goose liver, frog legs and snails.  Perhaps a songbird or two. 

What would Robespierre or Nappy think? 

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 12:08 PM

Miningman
I would have thought the 100 year anniversary of WWI ending would be a real big deal. Certainly more meaningful and substantial speeches instead of a bunch of posturing, virtue signalling and empty headed rhetoric.

On the other hand, it truly does represent many of the results that actually came out of the Armistice (and then the Treaty) after the European weasels bamboozled poor old Wilson.  We should probably think of that as something just as memorable, if considerably less respectful to those who deserve, even now, to be remembered with poppies and better.

What would Robespierre or Nappy think?

That is needlessly cruel and Francophobe when all you need remember is ... Petain.

Suspect the French will be no more forthcoming with thanks in 2045.  As Shakespeare said 'the good men do is oft interred with their bones', and the doughboys' bones are long interred, as are those of the people who remember what kept the French out of annihilation after April 1918...

When I was in college, on the billiards-room wall was a French-issued commemoration of someone who had died serving in the Lafayette Escadrille -- their sacrifice was characterized there as partial payment of America's debt to France.  I thought then, and still do, that this was laying it on a bit thick for republican France, which did very little for the United States (except peripherally, while serving its own interests) over its whole existence.

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Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 5:29 PM

Not sure France will be recognizable in 2045. 

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