Four years ago uproar throughout this country announced the end of the great war in Europe. There were parades and services of thanksgiving; bells were rung, stores were closed and everywhere there was general rejoicing over the giant headlines which appeared on extra after extra: "Armistice Signed".
That was four years ago. Today the stores are open, as they were last Saturday, so are the banks; every thing is just as usual save for the occasional memorial services, and the incidental celebrations like that at the stadium between the halves. America is rapidly forgetting the days of the war; and returning to her old policy of "every man for himself and the devil take the hindermost".
And in Europe--whatever may be the fashion of celebration, there is also a large measure of forgetfulness. The millenium of international brotherhood prophesied so confidently during the war has come true in an unexpected sense; for the European situation today would do credit to the most unhappy family imaginable in that particularly affectionate period of contesting a relative's will.
After four years of conferences, wranglings, and partially or barely averted hostilities, the brotherhood of nations has only succeeded in storing up enmities enough to blow Europe off the map. France and England are eyeing each other fiercely, lest either obtain more than her share of influence or power. Italy has recently acquired a government decidedly hostile to the United Kingdom. And Turkey with almost diabolical genius is taking full advantage of the disturbances. "States powerful enough to make demands need not feel bound by promises," argues Mustapha Kemal from Constantinople; and his representatives at the approaching Lauzanne conference are accordingly instructed that the treaties of the old Sultan as well as the recent Mudania pact are all in the scrap basket together.
Such is Europe's condition on this fourth anniversary of the Armistice, while America celebrates an ordinary business day merely urged by proclamations to think of its true significance. Few will, even when its meaning is thrust upon them by the guns this afternoon.