Post-242: November 11th, 1918

As I write, it is November 11th. It was on this day in 1918 that the fighting ended in what we now call “World War One” (famously, they arranged the ceasefire to begin at 11 AM). This is why the USA’s Veteran’s Day is November 11th.

One of my great-grandfathers was in the U.S. Army at that time, but he never left the USA. I wrote about what I’ve learned of his experience in post-224 (“My Great-Grandfather’s Piece of World War I“). He was at Camp Devens, MA. Here is a picture of one of the companies garrisoned (not his) at Camp Devens in 1918:


Part of the company photograph of the “43rd Company”, Camp Devens Depot Brigade (151st)


I had the good fortune to visit the Camp Devens museum while on a visit to Connecticut in August 2014. The museum is on the former site of the once-enormous Camp (later Fort) Devens. The museum keepers were friendly and chatted at long length. The base was built from nothing in 1917, and has now returned to a state of idleness.

Full photograph, labeled “43rd Co. 151st Depot Brigade Camp Devens Mass. 1918” [photograph for sale here]

Flash back to early morning Eastern USA time (i.e., 11 AM European Time), Nov. 11th, 1918. How would my great-grandfather, then-21-year-old Earle Hazen, have greeted the news that the war was over? On one hand, his experience in helping run bustling Camp Devens must’ve been exhilarating in its own way, like the CCC of the 1930s. Young men tend to thrive on outdoor exertion. Plus, he was stationed at home so didn’t see the mass battlefield death, the definite downside to war. On the other hand, life has to move on, so he must’ve been excited to get out.

Within two years of the armistice, Earle Hazen was married and within three years, my grandmother was born.