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Mon Nov 12, 2012, 12:45 PM

"How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for numerology?"

Veterans Day is one of those holidays tied to a specific date, like Christmas or the Fourth of July.

It started as Armistice day, celebrating the end of World War One, which was scheduled to end at the "Eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month."

Hence Veterans Day is November 11th.

Every year I end up wondering about the people, probably not many, but some, who died that morning for the sake of a numerological gesture.

I might have gone with 9 AM as the start of business... or midnight November 10th...

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Reply "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for numerology?" (Original post)
cthulu2016 Nov 2012 OP
The Magistrate Nov 2012 #1
cthulu2016 Nov 2012 #2
enlightenment Nov 2012 #3
muriel_volestrangler Nov 2012 #4
enlightenment Nov 2012 #5
muriel_volestrangler Nov 2012 #6

Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 12:49 PM

1. In The Lines, Sir

There was a fairly lively competition to be the one who fired the last shot. Some gunners got awfully foxy with their ballistics tables and watches to see the explosion of a shell took place in the last second of the thing....

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 12:51 PM

2. Yeah... but Andrew Jackson's record was safe.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 01:28 PM

3. About 11000, by some accounts.

http://unnamedharald.hubpages.com/hub/World-War-One-The-Last-Morning

The last signature was not placed on the treaty until 5:20 am on the morning of the 11th, though negotiations had been taking place for a couple of days prior. Pershing apparently knew that it had been signed by 6am, but swore he was following Foch's orders to keep up the pressure on the German's - the last advance was scheduled for 10:30. Some commanders want that last bit of glory, too - did Jackson really not know that the treaty with Britain had been signed when he had his glory moment in New Orleans?

I don't think it was numerology but some weird (and perverse) sense of poetic symmetry that made them choose the time - the date was not a known quantity until the document was actually signed, so choosing the 'eleventh hour' of the 'eleventh day' was more likely a result of the symmetry of the month and day rather than some predetermined thing.

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Response to enlightenment (Reply #3)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 07:26 PM

4. That's casualties; it says about 2,700 died. The BBC did a documentary 4 years ago

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/7696021.stm

There's a short clip there of the granddaughters of the last British man to die, visiting his grave.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #4)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 09:32 PM

5. Thanks, muriel -

for the link and the correction (reading fail on my part *blush*) !

Did you see the More 4 short with Gemma Arterton, Sophie Okonedo, and Sean Bean reciting poems by Wilfred Owen and Rupert Brooke? Very nicely done - Okonedo does one of the better recitations of The Soldier that I've heard; it can sound so trite when poorly done. Wasn't too impressed with Arterton, but Bean always recites well. I do love the Trench poets . . .

Here's the Guardian clip:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/video/2012/nov/11/sean-bean-first-world-war-poetry-video

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Response to enlightenment (Reply #5)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 05:15 AM

6. Thanks - I'd meant to get round to watching that

but had forgotten. Yes, Sean Bean is pretty much perfect for Owen's poetry.

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