From Vets for Peace:
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.
This year, Armistice Day coincides with world leaders convening in Egypt for the 27th UN Climate Change Conference (COP27). Not only is the US military the largest single institutional emitter of greenhouse gasses, the US military has long been deployed in wars for oil, natural gas, and other resources. The US military is a key player in the climate crisis and the US cannot meaningfully address the ongoing climate crisis without ending its ongoing addiction to war and militarism.
That’s why, as US negotiators head to COP27 to make speeches about the importance of addressing the climate crisis, VFP and allies are taking action to call on the US Government to live up to its rhetoric by disclosing the carbon impacts of military operations and taking meaningful action to address the climate crisis.
This year, Veterans for Peace is reclaiming Armistice Day as a day to stand up for peace, strive to truly end war, and address the climate crisis with bold direct action.