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Today is 11/11/11, a day with which numerologists have had some preoccupation. The trailer for the movie “11-11-11,” opening today, declares, “On the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the eleventh year, a gateway will open – and on this day, innocent blood will spill.” Today is also Veterans Day. Many people do not know of the numeric origins of Veterans Day, also steeped into the mysterious number “11.”

What we today call “Veterans Day” in the United States used to be “Armistice Day,” which celebrated the signing of the Armistice of the First World War in 1918. As the story goes, the Armistice was signed on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, or Nov.

11 at 11 a.m. Technically, the armistice was actually signed at 5 a.m.

and the cease-fire took effect at 11 a.m., but that make the story so much less interesting.

In later years, President Woodrow Wilson called for a moment of silence on 11/11 at 11 a. m. For this reason, the Veterans Day National Ceremony that takes place each year on 11/11 features a wreath laying ceremony that takes place at precisely 11 a.m. at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. When the original unknown soldier of World War I was placed in the tomb (other unknown soldiers of other wars have been interred there), it was also on Armistice’s Day (11/11).

Veterans Day was changed in 1971 to the fourth Monday in October. But Nov. 11 was so popular and rich in tradition, in 1975 President Ford changed the holiday back to 11/11.

The armistice was signed in a railroad dining car in the Forrest of Compiegne in northern France. Seven months later, on June 18, 1919, the Treaty of Versailles was signed formally ending the war. Under the Treaty of Versailles, Germany had to accept responsibility for the war. Germany was charged with what is today about $442 billion of reparations, a surrender that was so humiliating and prejudicial that it is considered by most historians to be the catalyst for World War II. When the Nazis attacked France, they forced the French to sign the Armistice of 1940 in the same railroad car in the same place as the signing of Armistice of 1918. The Germans eventually brought the railroad car back to Berlin, where it was burned as the Allies advanced. Germany did not pay off its World I war debt until last year – Oct. 4, 2010.

The Treaty of Versailles was such a disaster that we implemented precisely the opposite program after World War II. Instead of demanding reparations – on a country that was certainly more guilty than it was in World War I of crimes against humanity – we wisely instituted the Marshall Plan, and Germany has been at peace and an ally with the United States ever since.

In 1954 President Eisenhower issued a proclamation that Armistice Day, which was a celebration of those who served in World War I, be changed to Veterans Day to honor those who fought in all our wars, particularly World War II and the Korean War. But he continued the tradition of keeping the holiday on 11/11, which had been so worn into the American psyche.

So what is the significance of 11? I spoke to Mariam Massaro of Worthington, a student of esoteric sciences and minister of the Starwater Healing Sanctuary. She sees great significance in the event.

She described 11 as a “master number” and 11/11/11 as a “very significant day” which will be a “beautiful cosmic event” and a “spiritual portal for all of humanity.” A number of websites regard 11, 22, and 33 all as “master numbers.” A “master number,” according to Massoro, has a powerful presence because of the two numbers appearing together, which creates a “powerful vibration.” One signifies new beginnings. So “11” is a new beginning times two. Perhaps that is what drew them to 11 in the Forrest of Compiegne.

Oh, I forgot to mention: 11:11 a.m. Greenwich or Universal Time is also the time for the scheduled winter solstice for next year, Dec. 12, 2012, and the end of the Mayan Calendar and presumably the world. Some say rather than predicting an apocalypse, according to the Mayans, 2012 will usher in a new era of the feminine, or “conscious shifting” called “the Great Shift” – 11/11 is paving the way for this moment.

Do I believe this numerology stuff? No, but there are those who think I should.

Rinaldo Del Gallo’s is a local attorney whose columns have been published across the country.

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