From Veterans for Peace:
|WAR IS OVER! If you want it.|
Over one hundred years ago, the world celebrated peace as a universal principle. The first World War had just ended and nations mourning their dead collectively called for an end to all wars. Armistice Day was born and was designated as “a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated."
After World War II, the U.S. Congress decided to rebrand November 11 as Veterans Day. Honoring the warrior quickly morphed into honoring the military and glorifying war. Armistice Day was flipped from a day for peace into a day for displays of militarism.
Veterans For Peace has taken the lead in lifting up the original intention of November 11th – as a day for peace. As veterans, we know that a day that celebrates peace, not war, is the best way to honor the sacrifices of veterans. We want generations after us to never know the destruction war has wrought on people and the earth.
Veterans For Peace has been celebrating Armistice Day almost since the organization's inception, with a few chapters doing yearly events. Since 2008, with the passing of an official Veterans For Peace resolution, it became a VFP national effort. Each year, chapters across the country "Reclaim Armistice Day" by pushing the celebration of peace into the national conversation on Veterans Day.
Veterans For Peace is calling on everyone to stand up for peace this Armistice Day. More than ever, the world faces a critical moment. Tensions are heightened around the world and the U.S. is engaged militarily in multiple countries, without an end in sight. Here at home we have seen the increasing militarization of our police forces and brutal crackdowns on dissent and people’s uprisings against state power. We must press our government to end reckless military interventions that endanger the entire world. We must build a culture of peace.
Armistice Day — the commemoration of the truce that brought the end of WWI — became Veterans Day in 1954 in the aftermath of World War II and the Korean War. The reason, said President Dwight Eisenhower at the time, was to honor veterans of all wars, not just WWI.
“But to my grandfather and other World War I vets, that change symbolized for them a betrayal of what they felt was the promise of Armistice Day — not just the end of their war, but the end of all wars, and a commitment to peace,” said Michael Messner, professor of sociology and gender studies at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. - "The true meaning of 'Armistice Day'--a commitment to peace" by Susan Bell, November 9, 2018, USC News
From Kurt Vonnegut in Breakfast of Champions:
I will come to a time in my backwards trip when November eleventh, accidentally my birthday, was a sacred day called Armistice Day. When I was a boy, and when Dwayne Hoover was a boy, all the people of all the nations which had fought in the First World War were silent during the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of Armistice Day, which was the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
It was during that minute in nineteen hundred and eighteen, that millions upon millions of human beings stopped butchering one another. I have talked to old men who were on battlefields during that minute. They have told me in one way or another that the sudden silence was the Voice of God. So we still have among us some men who can remember when God spoke clearly to mankind.
Armistice Day has become Veterans' Day. Armistice Day was sacred. Veterans' Day is not.
So I will throw Veterans' Day over my shoulder. Armistice Day I will keep. I don't want to throw away any sacred things.
What else is sacred? Oh, Romeo and Juliet, for instance.
And all music is.
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