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Somewhere in Ca Belle France
Six dys apres la guerre.

Dearest folks,

C’est finit.    Guerre finit.    Vive la France.    Vive les Etats Unis.    Vives les Allies.

The Big Day came very unexpectedly and dramatically.  It was not until one hour before the end of hostilities that I knew that the armistice had been signed and that the War was drawing to a close.  That was at ten o’clock Monday morning.  We were but a short distance behind the front and were being held in reserve in case of any slip-up.  All morning long there was the most deafening roar I have ever heard.  It sounded as though all the guns on the Western front had begun to cut loose.  We thought that Germany had refused to sign and that it we were starting a big offensive.  But it later developed that it was only the artillery taking a final crack at the Boches before the order to cease firing became effective.  Suddenly exactly at 11 o’clock, silence.  You can have no idea of the sensation of that tremendous silence that meant the end of four and a half years of bloody slaughter, of suffering and pain — to know that it really meant the end.  But ebven then we couldn’t believe it until we began to meet soldiers tramping back from the front lines who told us various yarns about “the last five minutes.”

But the most remarkable thing was that night when all along the front huge bonfires were built and red, white and blue flares were sent up lighting the sky.  Villages came back to life.  Once more automobiles drove with lights.  Everywhere you could hear people singing and whistling.  And even nature itself seemed to be in tune to the occasion, for never have I seen the moons so bright nor the stars so clear.

That night we went to a minstrel show given by one of the divisions stationed near us.  The whole thing was gotten up on the spur of the moment, but doubt if there ever was a Broadway production more keenly enjoyed and appreciated.

From all accounts the scenes in New York, Paris and London must have been wonderful.  What a shame that the men who are responsible for the Victory could not have had a share in the celebration!  For us it means very little change at present.  Of course, there is no immediate prospect of returning home and the military machinery is still operating as usual and of course will, until conditions become once more stable, representative government established in Germany.  But anyhow the fighting and the blood-shed is over.  It will be impossible for hostilities to be renewed.

Father, get my desk cleared off because I am coming home now before long and will want to start operating at once.  The B. M. will be bigger, better, busier than ever.

Lots of love to all.

Affectionately,

Keith

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