The practice of remembering members of the armed forces who have died in the line of duty was inaugurated by King George V in 1919. He called for all activity to stop at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, and observe 2 mins of silence, in memory especially of the events that had just transpired: WW1.
The silence would remind people throughout the British Empire of the silence that fell on the battlefields of Europe when the hostilities of the 1st World War ended with Germany signing the armistice.
Initially called Armistice Day, it was renamed Remembrance Day after 2nd World War. It is celebrated today in numerous Commonwealth countries, including Canada, India, New Zealand, South Africa, UK and Australia. King George V spoke of freedom in a press statement released on Nov 7, 1919.
He declared (in part):
“Tuesday next, 11 November, is the first anniversary of the armistice, which stayed the world-wide carnage of the four preceding years, and marked the victory of right and freedom… I believe that my people in every part of the Empire fervently wish to perpetuate the memory of that great deliverance and of those who laid down their lives to achieve it. To afford an opportunity for the universal expression of this feeling it is my desire and hope that at the hour when the Armistice came into force, the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, there may be for the brief space of two minutes a complete suspension of all our normal activities.”
The freedoms being enjoy yet today in Canada and other western nations are in part due to the men and women who have laid down their lives in sacrifice, and we should never forget that.
Most western nations have long revered Remembrance Day as a solemn time to remember those who died in battle during wartime, but tragically its being hijacked today by the “woke” lefties. Canada’s incessant and ongoing attack on God, the Bible, and Christianity specifically continues marching forward. On October 11, 2023, Chaplain General Bélisle revoked military chaplains’ rights to use prayer, "God," and religious symbols during public events, including Remembrance Day Ceremonies. This is the way of evil, lefty pagan liberals who hate God and His professing people, passionately. They are little antichrists, ripe for God's wrath and the fires of hell. The only real difference between PM Justin Castro and Adolf Hitler, is Castro lacks the brains and power to fulfil his evil pogrom.
To read more about this day, please see World War I - The War to End All Wars?
But Remembrance Day is not the only event celebrated on November 11th. There is another extremely important matter.
Pilgrims Arrival and the Mayflower Impact
403 years ago, on November 11th, pilgrims arrived on the shores of what we know now as America, on a ship named Mayflower, after which the compact was named that they made on that day. America began with a covenant. The Mayflower Compact was a voluntary and binding covenant, recognizing the principle of self-government under God, with far-reaching economic, religious, and legal implications for all of society.
What began in 1620 in Provincetown harbour would establish the American precedent of free men covenanting to maintain a “civil body politic” of self-government under God.
It would culminate in the halls of Philadelphia in the 1780's with the formulation of the US Constitution, all of which has come under great attack in recent years and with the previous presidential election.
The famous Mayflower Compact, a style of governance similar to the separatist churches of the 41 pilgrims on board the Mayflower, was actually signed under strife. An argument had broken out on the Mayflower. Since they had sailed north of their destination, the original governing arrangement did not apply, rebellious troublemakers argued. They threatened to do as they pleased. But nobody wanted to chance more days sailing south in the heavy seas and sand bars along the coast.
Out of this was born the famous Mayflower Compact, William Brewster sat down and wrote:
“At Sea, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, November, 1620. In the name of God, Amen. We, . . . having undertaken for the glory of God and advancement of the Christian faith and the honour of our king and country . . . covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic . . . by virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, and offices, from time to time as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the colony, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.”
The picture at the beginning of this article depicts the signing of the Mayflower Impact, as does this one, with William Bradford overseeing the signing:
The three paragraphs of text, expressing the essential ideas for self-government, was signed by all the men of age on board the Mayflower, both pilgrims and strangers alike. It became the basis for the “town hall meetings” of New England.
As the population grew, deputies were elected and sent to represent the different towns at the General Court sessions. Thus, the powerful idea and practice of liberty, with self-rule and representative government, had firmly taken root in American soil by the time of the Constitutional Convention for the USA in 1787.
The pilgrims main motive for coming to the new world was to flee tyranny and practice religion freely. In his writings, William Bradford tells how this group of Christian separatists wanted no part of the Anglican Church (the Church of England) or its politics, liturgy, rituals, or generally unbiblical nature as he saw it. However the Anglican Church, under King James, threatened these separatists with huge fines (over $10k in today's money) if they did not attend their local Anglican Church regularly. Yes, government church attendance was compulsory in those days of no separation of Church and State, something that the Protestants had continued to practice, among other Roman practices of the Catholic Church.
This group of separatists were able to find sympathetic Anglican priests who would allow them to "attend" the Anglican Church, while hosting independent church services that were more in keeping with Biblical doctrine and practice. When King James discovered they were skirting the system, he forbade the sympathetic priests from continuing this practice. Desperate to get out from under this oppressive and despotic State Church monstrosity which was hardly different than the Roman Catholic State Church in its oppression, heresy, and denial of personal freedoms, they fled their homes in England to nearby Holland.
However, in those days, England was like a "Prison State.” No citizen could leave without a government issued "Pass-Port" (passport) and you can be sure the separatists were not going to get one. So they tried to escape, got caught, and sent to jail for a while, and then back to their homes. Eventually, they were able cross the water, and settle in nearby Holland. However, since they couldn’t speak Dutch, it was extremely difficult to get jobs and feed their families. This they did for ten years until they could tolerate it no more. At a point of intense desperation, with nowhere else to go and no hope for religious freedom or personal freedom back in England, they decided to set for the new world.
After being forced to return on the small non-ocean worthy Speedwell, they moved over to a larger ship called The Mayflower, and set out once again and did finally arrive on this very day, 403 year ago.
Some of the passengers didn’t survive the nauseating journey across the Atlantic, and those that did, couldn’t plant any crops for it was winter. They were forced to forge an alliance with one local tribe of Indians to keep from being slaughtered by another tribe. It was freezing cold, and food was in short supply. The physical hardships were not the only thing that upset their leader Bradford, who lamented in his journals that only a few dozen of Mayflower's surviving settlers were professing Christians.
Many of the rest were unregenerate heathens of crude backgrounds, especially the Mayflower's crew. That first winter after the Pilgrims’ arrival saw 60% of the original colony members of 102 die of scurvy and malnutrition. And yet, no one deserted back to England on the Mayflower that spring! And by October of 1621, after a good harvest, they held a feast, attended by 53 colonists and 90 Wampanoag Indians who had helped them through that first year. There were many miracles, small and large, but much to be thankful for in spite of the terrible hardship! No one in our present world of the west knows
A century and half later, the descendants of these first settlers were among those declaring independence from England and its State Church, to establish a nation with separation of Church and State, wherein it was understood that some truths were self-evident, including the God-given (not Government-given) rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The pilgrims had pursued a great truth. There is a much greater good realized in leaving behind the pursuit of comfort, ease and safety, in order to live in obedience to God’s Word and “press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil 3:14).
The first Bible ever printed on North American soil was not an English Bible, unbeknownst by many, but the Algonquin Indian Bible in 1663. How does that relate to the story of the pilgrims and The Mayflower? The man who did this translation work was John Eliott, who had a great burden and passion to evangelize the Indians of the new world. The printing supplies and machinery that Eliott required to produce that first Bible to facilitate this evangelization (after he learned the very difficult Algonquin language and then put it into written form) was brought over decades later on subsequent voyages from England by none other ship than that very first one that brought the pilgrims: the Mayflower!
Here is a copy of the very rare Eliot Indian Bible (aka. the Algonquian Bible) of 1663, from my own personal collection:
America has been the greatest Gentile nation in the history of the world, as far as Christianity is concerned, and have sent out more missionaries than the rest of the world combined. And it all started 400 years ago by the grace of God.
If we are born again by the Spirit of God, then we too are pilgrims passing through a sinful world like the early regenerate Hebrews, “sojourners” on their way to “the city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Heb 11:9-10). The purpose of life is not comfort, safety and compromise, but freedom under God to follow the leadership of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ as faithful servants, obeying His every word, for His glory, and preaching the gospel of our precious Saviour to every creature.
Soon enough the Lord Himself will “destroy . . . the veil that is spread over all nations” (Is 25:7) — the myriad deceptions of darkness like Communism/Marxism and Islam, false philosophies of all kinds and great apostasy noted on every hand today. But in the meantime, we be wise to proclaim God’s truth, preach the gospel to every creature and earnestly contend for the faith, whilst heeding the words of Rom 12:1,
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”
“We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” (2 Cor 4:7).
2 Cor 5:11a, 14-15,
"Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; . . . For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again."