Before today was Veterans' Day, it was Armistice Day. The Armistice stopped the fighting; the Peace Treaty came later.
The Armistice was signed on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in a railway car in the devastated French countryside, but the War to End All Wars didn't actually end all wars. The history of the past century testifies to that sad reality.
Remembering what we now call World War I across the decades gives me a glimmer of hope for humanity. As I read the timeline of what we now call World War, I gasp at both the enormous casualty counts and the terrible ways men (and all too often women and children) came to be numbered among the dead. That war is hell is a cliché because it is true.
Somehow, though, we've managed to avoid hell of such scope for a few decades now. I can't say that we have an actual peace these days. There's too much war and too many rumors of war in lands far away, and there's too little justice near to home, for me to call these times truly peaceful.
But we do have an armistice, and that's something.