Stand up for Peace this Armistice Day


By Joshua Baker

Lloyd EcoDistrict joins our friends at Veterans For Peace in a push to recognize November 11th as a day to celebrate and work towards peace.

From Veterans 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.

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.”

Learn more about the history of Armistice Day and the Veterans For Peace campaign to reclaim its original meaning here:

Some actions you can take to support peace and reclaim Armistice Day:

  1. Download & hang the Armistice Day Sign from your window (see image below): Hang the sign from your front window, or anywhere else you feel it would be most visible to others.
  2. Host a virtual peace vigil with your local peace groups: Call together your members and supporters by hosting a virtual action on Zoom. If you choose to meet in person this year, please wear masks and practice social distancing at your action. You can read the proclamation at your vigil and ring 11 bells for peace, as we do most years. Be sure to send us any photos of your action!
  3. Ring 11 bells for peace: Make it a community effort! Reach out to local churches, community centers, and schools to ring their bells at 11am. Here is a sample outreach letter from Chapter 27.
  4. In the days leading up to Armistice Day, take part in the People’s Summit for Climate Justice (Nov 7-10).
  5. Tune in to Armistice Day TV! Veterans For Peace will stream 11 hours of Reclaim Armistice programming on November 11th through our Twitch channel hosted by the VFP initiative Gamers For Peace
  6. Share the Liturgy of the Bells!: The Liturgy of the Bells is a great opportunity to reach out to local houses of worship to commemorate Armistice Day. 

Veterans For Peace Chapter 72 invites community members to gather at Director Park in SW Portland at 10:30am on Thursday, the 11th of November, to mark the anniversary of the armistice that ended the “Great War” in 1918. People are encouraged to bring a bell. At 11:00am attendees will circle up to chime their bells in unison, 11 times in a row. Following the bell ringing there will be a moment of silence, and then anyone who wants can make a statement or read a poem or sing a song in the spirit of the day: to celebrate the end of the war, the laying down of arms, and the longing for lasting peace, at home and abroad.