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The Last Soldier to Die in World War I

The last soldier to die in the Great War was an American, twenty-three-year-old Henry Gunther, a private with the American Expeditionary Force in France. He was killed at 10:59 A.M., November 11, 1918, one minute before the Armistice went into effect.

Gunther's squad, part of the 79th Infantry Division, encountered a roadblock of German machine guns near the village of Chaumont-devant-Damvillers. Against the orders of his sergeant, he charged the guns with his bayonet. German soldiers, aware of the Armistice, tried to wave him off. But Gunther kept coming and was gunned down; he died instantly. His divisional record states: "Almost as he fell, the gunfire died away and an appalling silence prevailed."

Possible Preaching Angles: (1) Salvation—We have peace with God through Christ but we still live like we're at war with God. Lay down your arms and enjoy Christ's victory and offer of reconciliation; (2) Conflict—Are we picking needless battles or picking battles in a way that leads to more conflict rather than living as peacemakers?

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