1920’s Kenya– “THE GREAT SILENCE”
In The Crocodile’s Last Embrace, Jade had returned to France to see the battlefields and write about their transformation for an Armistice Day article. Today, most people don’t recognize the term “Armistice Day,” but before we started celebrating “Veteran’s Day” on November 11, there was Armistice Day, commemorating the signing of the armistice that ended The Great War. For many years after the war, the day was remembered and commemorated with “The Great Silence.”
Beginning at 11 am on November 11, two minutes of silence was maintained. Businesses stopped, telephones didn’t ring, teachers broke off their lessons as everyone was asked to bow their heads and pray or at least remember and honor the sacrifices made during that war. To ensure that everyone remembered, a signal such as a loud horn, would blow. In Nairobi, the “train hooter” would signal the time.
Because hardly anyone was left untouched by loss during the war, for many this commemoration was a time of sorrow. But as one letter to the editor of the Leader of British East Africa (1921) put it, it was also a time of rejoicing for “the cessation of hostilities.” It was hoped that the Armistice Day remembrance would be made an official holiday in Kenya Colony in the future.
Since The Great War, we’ve all suffered many more wars and so, Armistice Day evolved into our Veteran’s Day honoring all the military. Perhaps on November 11, it would still behoove us to pause at 11 am wherever we are and honor THE GREAT SILENCE in memory of all those veterans who served.
Quotes and images taken from (images 1 and 2) The East African Standard, November 1920, and (image 3) The Leader of British East Africa, November 26 (weekly), 1921.
By the way, The Crocodile’s Last Embrace received a starred review by Publishers’ Weekly who called it “rip-roaring.” Romantic Times gave it 4 Stars and called it “Enormously fun” and Library Journal’s starred review stated “Do not miss this one.”
And Mark of the Lion is now available in the U.K. via Piatkus Books. Stalking Ivory and The Serpent’s Daughter will soon follow.
NEXT WEEK - MORE SURPRISES:
1) Does mystery have to equal murder? I weigh in with the Suspense Sirens on their blog posting at http://bit.ly/cpprpx
2) Interested in some insight into what makes me and Jade tick? Go to SCENE OF THE CRIME http://bit.ly/ao2gjg for an interesting interview at a great website by author J. Sydney Jones.
3) CAN’T GET TO ONE OF MY BOOK EVENTS? YOU CAN SEE PART OF ONE HERE courtesy of Mr. Patrick Balester. http://bit.ly/a5wNIn
NOTE: These blogs are meant to give some insight into the life and times of my fictional character, Jade del Cameron. Jade’s mystery adventures take place in post WWI Africa. To date they are: Mark of the Lion, Stalking Ivory, and The Serpent’s Daughter, and The Leopard’s Prey, Treasure of the Golden Cheetah and THE CROCODILE’S LAST EMBRACE. An excerpt and information on ordering signed copies is available at the website: www.suzannearruda.com. Follow short updates on http://twitter.com/SuzanneArruda and on facebook to http://www.facebook.com/pages/Suzanne-Arruda-Mystery-Writer/165784103431688?ref=ts
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