By Chris Overfelt
Join the Kansas City chapter of Veterans for Peace (VFP) to reclaim Armistice Day: Meet us at 9 AM on November Eleventh at the National World War I Museum and Memorial, , to commemorate eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918 when the guns fell silent, ending “The War to end all wars“, known since WWII as World War I. We will meet outside Liberty Memorial at 9:00 am on November 11 to observe Armistice Day and to fly our VFP banners in an effort to celebrate peace instead of war.
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.
[Accompanying picture of the National WWI Museum and Memoria is copyrighted CC0, universal public domain.]