On this day in 1918, Pvt Henry Gunther of Baltimore, Maryland thought he saw a suspicious movement in the German trenches across the way. Fearing that the “Huns” were using the mid-morning sun to get some territorial advantage while the peace talks dragged on, Gunther decided to rush the suspicious area. Henry was fast but, unfortunately, not invisible. A single shot from a German rifle struck him in the heart and killed him instantly. The time was 11:01 a.m. just 1 minute after the war officially ended, making Put Henry Gunther the final casualty of World War I.
Thus, he joined nearly 8.4 million other victims who died in that conflict alone (113,000 Americans). But Gunther was in a distinct minority – he died of a wound. More than half of the rest died of the flu or other illnesses. But, as noted, at 11:01 a.m., Harry Gunther became the last military casualty of World War I. If only he had known that world leaders had already agreed upon on a cease-fire (about four days before). But with a nod to symmetry, history and-yes-even numerology, they had decided to implement the Armistice on the Eleventh hour of the Eleventh day of the Eleventh month.
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