The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, by tradition, the time and date in 1918 the Armistice bringing hostilities to a close was scheduled to go into effect.
Armistice Day, later known as Remembrance Day in the Commonwealth and Veterans Day in the United States, is commemorated every year on 11 November to mark the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, at 5:45 am for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I, which took effect at 11:00 am—the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918 although, according to Thomas R. Gowenlock, an intelligence officer with the U.S. First Division, shelling from both sides continued for the rest of the day, ending only at nightfall. The armistice initially expired after a period of 36 days and had to be extended several times. A formal peace agreement was reached only when the Treaty of Versailles was signed the following year.
The date is a national holiday in France, and was declared a national holiday in many Allied nations. However, many Western countries and associated nations have since changed the name of the holiday from Armistice Day, with member states of the Commonwealth of Nations adopting Remembrance Day, and the United States government opting for Veterans Day. In some countries Armistice Day coincides with other public holidays.
As might easily have been foreseen, at least according to the usual 20/20 hindsight, the War To End All Wars did no such thing; a mere twenty years later, the folly of indulging such wishful thinking would be established for all time.
Closely juxtaposed with Veterans Day every November 11th, there’s another martial anniversary well worth remembering for American patriots: the founding—in a bar, natch—of the philanthropical and charitable organization revered far and wide as Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children.
Here are some badass stories to help ring in the Marine Corps’ birthday
When Samuel Nicholas was tasked with raising two battalions of Marines in Philadelphia, he knew just where to go: a bar.
Nicholas headed to Tun Tavern that fateful Nov. 10 in 1775, and — so the traditional story goes — the Continental Marines were born.
Two hundred forty-eight years later, Tun Tavern is gone, but the Marine Corps is still around.
Happy birthday, Marines. Before you head out to your local birthday ball, celebrate with this roundup of some of the great things Marines have done since turning 247.
Marines step up in malls, embassies and Chick-fil-As
In December 2022, Marine recruiter Staff Sgt. Josue Fragoso and applicant Scott Elliott were going through paperwork in a California mall when they heard glass shattering. They proceeded to nab two suspects who apparently were in the middle of a smash-and-grab heist of the mall’s jewelry store.
In April, three Marines who had recently graduated from Marine embassy security training at Quantico, Virginia, broke up a fight during a lunchtime excursion to a nearby Chick-fil-A. One of the Marines, Lance Cpl. Nicholas Dural, managed to break an alleged assailant’s knife in half.
Then Dural went to get a haircut — and didn’t tell his barber what had just happened.
“I try to be as humble as possible,” he told Marine Corps Times.
Obstacle course is no obstacle for 4-foot-7-inch Marine
The 4-foot-7-inch Pfc. Nathaniel Laprade made it through boot camp at Parris Island, South Carolina, in September, becoming possibly the shortest U.S. service member ever.
Many of the obstacles in the obstacle course were taller than Laprade, but he made it over without much trouble. He just had to jump a little higher, he said.
Laprade said of his peers in boot camp, “I think they kind of looked up to me in a way. I had one recruit, now a Marine, who told me that I was his motivation.”
During his enlistment process, Laprade heard from recruiters about Richard Flaherty, a 4-foot-9-inch Green Beret who became known as the “Giant Killer” for his service in Vietnam.
“The main part that inspired me was that he was Army and 4 foot 9 inches,” Laprade said. “If I go Marines when I’m 4 foot 7 inches, I will beat him in two ways.”
More still at the link, just a few among so many wonderful stories of Gyrene aplomb, pluck, and derring-do that form an important part of Marine Corps history. And lest we forget, there’s also the legendary Marine’s Marine Chesty Puller.
Lewis Burwell “Chesty” Puller (June 26, 1898 – October 11, 1971) was a United States Marine Corps officer. Beginning his career fighting guerillas in Haiti and Nicaragua as part of the Banana Wars, he later served with distinction in World War II and the Korean War as a senior officer. By the time of his retirement in 1955, he had reached the rank of lieutenant general.
Puller is the most decorated Marine in American history. He was awarded five Navy Crosses and one Distinguished Service Cross. With six crosses, Puller is second behind Eddie Rickenbacker for citations of the nation’s second-highest military award for valor. Puller retired from the Marine Corps in 1955, after 37 years of service. He lived in Virginia and died in 1971 at age 73.
Again, just the lead-in to a much larger, longer story.
7 Legends About ‘Chesty’ Puller, the Most Decorated Marine in US History
Lewis “Chesty” Puller (1898-1971), was a 37-year veteran of the USMC, ascended to the rank of lieutenant general and is the most decorated Marine in the history of the Corps. He served in World War II, Haiti, Nicaragua and the Korean War. The concrete facts surrounding his military service are astounding, but his grassroots legacy is carved out by stories echoed through generations of Marines that sound crazy enough to be true only for Puller.
His Nickname “Chesty” Came from the Legend that He Had a False “Steel Chest.”
There are many legends surrounding how Lewis “Chesty” Puller got his nickname. One says that it came from his boisterous, commanding voice that was miraculously heard over the sounds of battle. There are even some that say that it is literal — and that his chest was hacked away in the banana wars and replaced with an iron steel slab.
“All Right, They’re on Our Left. They’re on Our Right. They’re in Front of Us. They’re Behind Us. They Can’t Get Away This Time.”
This is one of the most iconic quotes from Puller. His men were completely surrounded, and what initially seemed like doom would soon be revealed to them as the beginnings of victory.
He Always Led by Example.
Puller famously put the needs of his men in front of his own. In training, he carried his own pack and bedding roll while marching at the head of his battalion. He afforded himself no luxuries his men did not have — usually meaning a diet consisting only of “K” rations. When in New Britain, Papua New Guinea, legend has it that he slept on the bare floor of an abandoned hut and refused to let the native people make him a mattress of banana leaves. And he always refused treatment when wounded until his men had been attended to.
The traditional American nation, battered, bruised, and bloodied as it now is, will always have need of such men, as many of them as it can possibly get. Amerika v2.0, on the other hand, is not only incapable of producing them, but actively scorns and shuns them, favoring…well, other, far lesser breeds, shall we say.
Happy birthday, Marines, and many happy returns. May God bless and keep you all.