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Remembering the First World War

A+field+of+red+poppies.+%28Photo+Courtesy+of+Albarium%29.+
A field of red poppies. (Photo Courtesy of Albarium).

A field of red poppies. (Photo Courtesy of Albarium).

A field of red poppies. (Photo Courtesy of Albarium).

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Does 11:11 on November 11th ring a bell to you? If not, it’s time you pin a crimson red poppy to your coat and join the World War I Remembrance Day celebration! In Britain and other countries, citizens pin the red flowers to their shirts on November 11th and honor those in their country who lost their lives during World War I. However, in the United States, World War I Remembrance Day turned into Veterans’ Day in 1954; instead of specifying World War I, the day honors the victims of all wars.

“Honestly, I was not aware that Veterans’ Day was originally established as World War I Remembrance Day. [I think] it should be publicized more,” says junior Angel Sarmiento.

The First World War was often coined as “the war to end all wars,” but perhaps people today view this term as misleading.

“There’s always going to be fighting going on. Sometimes problems just have to be solved with war. . . my biological great-grandfather, Otto J. Oppatt, immigrated to the United States from Germany and fought for the Americans [in World War I],” adds junior Jenna Oppatt.

Actually, roughly 8.5 million soldiers died in the Great War, and another 21 million were wounded in the first conflict. This wreaked havoc in most of the known world.

“More than the Civil War, [World War I] involved a lot of American fatalities and bloodshed. [Also], so many advances in modern technology, such as the invention of mustard gas, made this war more dangerous,” says senior Andrew Greskamp.

Though the majority of people remember the horrors of World War II much more clearly than those of World War I, this event did accomplish a few important things, especially for the young nation of the United States.

“I believe that this was the first time America was viewed as a powerhouse in the world. [After World War I], America immediately went into the Roaring Twenties and then the Great Depression. Perhaps we felt invincible,” suggests librarian Lauren Blackwell.

World War I is often viewed as a stepping stone for future major international events, the most infamous of which is World War II.

“World War I directly caused World War II because the Allies oppressed Germany when they crafted a treaty that dealt harshly with Germany; Hitler’s intentions for setting the nation back on its feet economically were at first good, but it quickly soured when he got elected and began mistreating others, particularly the Jews,” states junior Angel Sarmiento.

Overall, the reason World War I should be remembered by future generations is summed up in one simple sentence.

“It’s always important to remember history lest we repeat the same mistakes,” says Lauren Blackwell.

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Brashier Middle College Charter High School News....written and created by students, for students
Remembering the First World War