The Past and Future of Armistice / Remembrance Day: A Global Webinar

We’re planning a big online event for November 4, 2021, at 3 p.m. ET. Plan to wear a sky blue scarf and a white poppy! Find all the details and register for free here.

Peace Activism on November 11th

What the Day Means and Where It Came From

November 11, 2021, is Remembrance /Armistice Day 104 which is 103 years since World War I was ended in Europe (while it continued for weeks in Africa) at the scheduled moment of 11 o’clock on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 (with an extra 11,000 people dead, wounded, or missing after the decision to end the war had been reached early in the morning — we might add “for no reason,” except that it would imply the rest of the war was for some reason).

In many parts of the world, principally but not exclusively in British Commonwealth nations, this day is called Remembrance Day and should be a day of mourning the dead and working to abolish war so as not to create any more war dead. But the day is being militarized, and a strange alchemy cooked up by the weapons companies is using the day to tell people that unless they support killing more men, women, and children in war they will dishonor those already killed.

For decades in the United States, as elsewhere, this day was called Armistice Day, and was identified as a holiday of peace, including by the U.S. government. It was a day of sad remembrance and joyful ending of war, and of a commitment to preventing war in the future. The holiday’s name was changed in the United States after the U.S. war on Korea to “Veterans Day,” a largely pro-war holiday on which some U.S. cities forbid Veterans For Peace groups from marching in their parades, because the day has become understood as a day to praise war — in contrast to how it began.

We seek to make Armistice / Remembrance Day a day to mourn all victims of war and advocate for the ending of all war.

White Poppies and Sky Blue Scarves

White poppies represent remembrance for all victims of war (including the vast majority of war victims who are civilians), a commitment to peace, and a challenge to attempts to glamorize or celebrate war. Make your own or get them here in the UK and here in Canada.

Sky blue scarves were first worn by peace activists in Afghanistan. They represent our collective wish as a human family to live without wars, to share our resources, and to take care of our earth under the same blue sky. Make your own or get them here.

Henry Nicholas John Gunther

The story from the first Armistice Day of the last soldier killed in Europe in the last major war in the world in which most of the people killed were soldiers highlights the stupidity of war. Henry Nicholas John Gunther had been born in Baltimore, Maryland, to parents who had immigrated from Germany. In September 1917 he had been drafted to help kill Germans. When he had written home from Europe to describe how horrible the war was and to encourage others to avoid being drafted, he had been demoted (and his letter censored). After that, he had told his buddies that he would prove himself. As the deadline of 11:00 a.m. approached on that final day in November, Henry got up, against orders, and bravely charged with his bayonet toward two German machine guns. The Germans were aware of the Armistice and tried to wave him off. He kept approaching and shooting. When he got close, a short burst of machine gun fire ended his life at 10:59 a.m. Henry was given his rank back, but not his life.

All About Armistice / Remembrance Day

Webinar: What About World War II?

This webinar features David Swanson, Executive Director of World BEYOND War, discussing the “What about WWII?” question so popular among supporters of military spending, and the history of Armistice Day.

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Armistice Day First

By John LaForge It gets harder to commemorate World War I, because of time and the public’s embrace of, or indifference to, a permanent war economy. About the Great War British novelist H.G. Wells wrote on August 14, 1914, “This

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New Film Takes Stand Against Militarism

Source: Quakers in Britain, Independent Catholic News, Global Campaign for Peace Education War School, a provocative film launched this week, is set to challenge the British government’s attempt to entice children into support for war. Timed to coincide with the

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We Need a New Armistice Day

By David Swanson, October 13, 2018. Remarks at the Resource Center for Nonviolence in Santa Cruz, Calif., on October 12, 2018. Exactly at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, in 1918, 100 years ago this

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On Armistice Day, Let’s Celebrate Peace

By Kathy Kelly, November 10, 2017, The Progressive. Wilfred Owen, an English poet who was killed in action exactly one week before the Armistice that finally ended World War I was signed, wrote about the horrors of living in trenches

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An Armistice Day Poem

NOVEMBER COMES November comes on to me like a C-130 slinking into Dover Air Force base laden with tin caskets draped in red, white, and blue I know, I know I should just let it be Okay, okay I can still

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