Nov. 11 – Celebrate Armistice Day as Peace Day
At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, World War I came to an end 105 years ago. On that day in 1918, people celebrated the end of the “War to End Wars” and established Armistice Day or in some parts of the world Remembrance Day. This holiday was originally intended to be a day to honor the dead and a day to commit to world peace.
Years later, after the Korean War, as weapon manufacturing became enormously profitable, the name was changed from Armistice Day to Veterans Day. With the name change came a gradual change from a holiday to honor veterans and celebrate peace, to a day with parades to glorify war. For some, war and weapons of war were found to be much more profitable than peace.
Today peace activists across the country are realizing the need to reclaim the original intent of the holiday. They realize that many of our elected officials who enjoy huge campaign contributions from the merchants of war have become addicted to war. This addiction has led to enormous profits for the weapon makers and to years of destruction and devastation to communities and the environment.
Scholars at the Cost of War Project of Brown University published a summary of what this addiction has cost us since the post-9/11 wars to 2020 (statistics from 2020 to 2023 not included):
- “Over 940,000 people have died due to direct war violence.
- The number of war refugees and displaced persons equals 38 million.
- The U.S. federal price tag is over $8 trillion dollars.
- The U.S. government is conducting counterterror activities in 85 countries.
- The wars have been accompanied by violations of human rights and civil liberties, in the U.S. and abroad.”
The Loretto Motherhouse Peace Committee commends the valiant efforts of activists across the country who challenge us to thank veterans and to honor them by calling for peace.
We applaud the efforts of peace builders to educate Americans about the real cost of wars and who profits from them. We urge our national leaders to call for negotiations and diplomacy. The time is now!
We celebrate Veterans Day by renewing our commitment to work for justice and to act for peace.