By Rita R. Robison
World War I ended on Nov. 11, 1918. Germany signed the Armistice on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
Armistice Day was a day to celebrate the peace and continued peace. World War I was known as the war to end all wars. More than 20 million men and women were killed in the war or later died of their wounds.
Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance on Armistice Day Nov. 11, and it became a national holiday in 1938.
However, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation in 1954 to change the name from Armistice Day to Veterans Day as a way to honor those who served in all American wars.
The day honors military veterans with parades and speeches across the nation. A national ceremony takes place at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
While veterans deserved to be recognized, it’s unfortunately that the emphasis on peace hasn’t continued nationwide.
Veterans For Peace rings bells 11 times on Armistice/Veterans Day instead of shooting guns.
“It's too bad Americans, as a whole, unlike Europeans, have forgotten this important history of Armistice Day and, in fact, have reverted to celebrating war as heroic,” Coleen Rowley said in a Huffington Post article “11/11/11 Will Be Celebrated as Originally Intended: As Armistice Day.”
I agree. It’s important for Americans to work for peace.
Consider joining an organization such as Veterans for Peace.
It works to inform the public about the true costs and consequences of militarism and war and for peaceful, effective alternatives to war. Veterans For Peace also lobbies for veterans rights and is currently participating in the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations.