Armistice Day 1941

Armistice Day 1941 - a reminder that peace was tenuous. Proof would arrive a few weeks later.

Armistice Day – Veteran’s Day – President Roosevelt – November 11, 1941

Armistice Day 1941 – a reminder that peace was tenuous. Proof would arrive a few weeks later.

Armistice Day – Tomb Of The Unknowns – November 11, 1941 – Mutual – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

Armistice Day 1941. Since Armistice Day was in remembrance of the end of World War 1, the “war to end all wars” – clearly, it would not be the last way, as was evidenced in Europe and what America was to become involved in a few weeks later. It would eventually become Veteran’s Day as the end of World War 1 was only the end of a chapter and not of war. So on this November 11th 1941, President Roosevelt addressed a gathering at The Tomb Of the Unknown at Arlington Cemetery:

President Roosevelt: “Among the great days of national remembrance, none is more deeply moving to Americans of our generation than the eleventh of November, the anniversary of the Armistice of 1918, the day sacred to the memory of those who gave their lives in the war which that day ended.

Our observance of this anniversary has a particular significance in the year 1941.

For we are able today as we were not always able in the past to measure our indebtedness to those who died.

A few years ago, even a few months, we questioned, some of us, the sacrifice they had made. Standing near the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Sergeant York of Tennessee on a recent day spoke to such questioners. “There are those in this country today,” said Sergeant York, “who ask me and other veterans of World War Number One, ‘What did it get you?'”

Today we know the answer- all of us. All who search their hearts in honesty and candor know it.

We know that these men died to save their country from a terrible danger of that day. We know, because we face that danger once again on this day.

“What did it get you?”

People who asked that question of Sergeant York and his comrades forgot the one essential fact which every man who looks can see today.

They forgot that the danger that threatened this country in 1917 was real—and that the sacrifice of those who died averted that danger.

Because the danger was overcome they were unable to remember that the danger had been present.

Because our armies were victorious they demanded why our armies had fought.

Because our freedom was secure they took the security of our freedom for granted and asked why those who died to save it should have died at all.

“What did it get you?”

“What was there in it for you?”

If our armies of 1917 and 1918 had lost there would not have been a man or woman in America who would have wondered why the war was fought. The reasons would have faced us everywhere. We would have known why liberty is worth defending as those alone whose liberty is lost can know it. We would have known why tyranny is worth defeating as only those whom tyrants rule can know.

But because the war had been won we forgot, some of us, that the war might have been lost.

Whatever we knew or thought we knew a few years or months ago, we know now that the danger of brutality and the danger of tyranny and slavery to freedom-loving peoples can be real and terrible.”

Here is that complete address as well as the rest of the ceremony, Armistice Day November 11, 1941.

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