Veterans For Peace Chapters and Members across the U.S. and abroad once again took the lead to #ReclaimArmisticeDay as a "day dedicated to the cause of world peace," as it was celebrated at the end of World War I when the world came together to recognize the need for lasting peace.
Veterans For Peace started this campaign over 8 years ago to challenge the overt celebration of militarism and redirect our cultural celebrations to highlight moments when the world came together to work towards peace and the common good. And it is clear that it is working! More and more people are hearing our message!
Our chapters hosted many virtual actions and adapted in-person events for safe gathering. Check out the recap below with recordings of virtual events, reports from local chapter actions, and links to articles, podcasts, radio shows, videos and more from Veterans For Peace members and chapters reclaiming Armistice Day!
View the full Armistice Day 2021 photo album here or click on any of the photos below.
If you do not see your action/photo below, or would like to make a change, please send an email with the information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Premiere of Armistice Day TV
This year also marked our first ALL DAY STREAMING event: Armistice Day TV on our Twitch channel. It was a huge success and we are excited to replicate next year! Gamers For Peace hosted eleven hours of programming that included conversation, education, mental health check ins, bell ringings, and of course, games! We had record numbers of folks join all of our social media channels and spreading the word to #ReclaimArmisticeDay.
Help us continue to build our Armistice Day message in the future by making a donation today!
Watch Members Ring Bells Across the World!
Street Check-Ins from Armistice Day Events!
*Before closing out of a video, make sure to hit pause (or refresh webpage after closing) to stop audio*
Members from multiple states met at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall and then moved across the Mall towards the U.S. Capitol to observe Armistice Day.
Chapter 1 - Maine (Tom Sturtevant Chapter)
Chapter 1 gathered with their Armistice Day banner, VFP flags, and brochures/flyers at Monument Square where the traditional parade passes. At 11am the church bells rang eleven times, and they knelt to recognize the true costs of war and the need for world peace. The chapter was joined by VFP Executive Director Garett Reppenhagen. Watch the Street Check-in!
Click the video above to watch the video diary by Martha Spiess, or watch here.
Chapter 9 - Boston, MA (Smedley Butler Chapter) & Event in Greenfield, MA
Members in Boston gathered at Park Street with a sound system, speakers and poets, songsters, and more. At 11:11 they rang a bell 11 times to celebrate Armistice Day as a day of Peace the way it was in 1918. Watch the video by Werner Grundl.
About the Greenfield event (from Ellen Davidson): A beautiful day for a drive to Greenfield, MA, to join peace activists to commemorate Armistice Day. Paki Wieland (to whom one cannot say "No") invited Tarak Kauff to come to speak as a veteran, and we also heard from three other Veterans For Peace members from either end of the state: Nate Goldshlag from Boston, Mike Tork from Falmouth on the cape, and Eric Wasileski, who grew up in Greenfield and lives in Pittsfield.
Chapter 10 - Albany, NY
VFP in Albany marched in the local parade, bringing its message of peace with justice and the desperate need to end war and militarism if we are to restore the environment and stop catastrophic climate change.
Chapter 19 - Palm Springs (Jon Castro Chapter)
Chapter 19 dedicated an engraved peace pole to fallen Marine Corporal Hunter Lopez at Shea's Veterans Center in Desert Hot Springs. The peace pole reads "May Peace Prevail" in 4 different languages. A bronze plaque will also be added to the pole with Lopez's name on it.
"We need to put an end to terrorist attacks and an end to wars and let people live peacefully on this earth. We need peace now more than ever before. and he died for the cause of peace," said chapter President Tom Swann Hernandez.
Chapter 23 - Rochester, NY
For the 3rd consecutive year, members of Chapter 23 bannered and demonstrated with a Reclaim Armistice Day banner and U.S. and VFP flags by the Veterans Memorial Bridge. At 11AM they rang bells to mark the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month when the guns went silent and the Armistice went into affect ending ":The Great War." The Veterans Memorial Bridge was completed and dedicated in 1931 and named at the request of the Gold Star Mothers to honor those who served and died in the "Great War" from Rochester.
Chapter 25 - Madison, WI (Clarence Kailin Chapter)
Madison VFP and The Progressive magazine hosted an online Armistice Day commemoration that featured musical selections, a reflection on the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and views on the current global situation and the prospects for peace.
Speakers included: UW Professor, Al McCoy, Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Kathy Kelly, Fran Wiedenhoeft, Madison veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and special musical selections from both Si Kahn and John McCutcheon.
Chapter 27 - Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
VFP Chapter 27 gathered for their annual Armistice Day commemoration at Sheridan Memorial Park in Minneapolis. The park features a large representation of the globe, surrounded by memorials to each of the wars throughout our US history and remembering all the victims. Strong Buffalo opened the gathering with a Dakota prayer and was followed by a designer of the park, Mark Odegaard, a Vietnam veteran, who spoke about the park both as a memorial and a vision for world Peace. They did some singing in the brisk morning winds and wound up with our bell ringing to commemorate the "war to end all wars." May peace (and justice) prevail! *Adapted from report by John C. Pegg
Article by chapter member Larry Johnson: COLUMN: These are a few of my scariest things
Chapter 34 - New York, NY
Two events took place this year in New York City. Chapter 34 and others joined the Granny Peace Brigade for a Penny Poll on how tax dollars should be spent. They handed out leaflets and bags of pennies and asked folks to distribute the pennies as they think adequate to our needs by placing them in tubes marked Education, Environment, Diplomacy, Healthcare, Infrastructure, Jobs, Military, etc.
Peace Action Bay Ridge also held a tabling event in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn for Armistice Day where they included VFP literature among their handouts. At one point Brittany Ramos DeBarros (former Organizing Director, About Face: Veterans Against the War) who is now running for Congress in NY-11 stopped by their table!
*Photo credit: Hideko Otake*
Chapter 35 - Spokane, WA
Chapter 35 gathered for a bell-ringing followed by a speech from chapter Vice President George Taylor and an open mic on the topic of Armistice Day and Veterans For Peace. Watch the short clip in our Street Check-In or click the video above to watch the longer video.
Read the article: Inland Northwest residents celebrate Veterans Day
Letters to the Editor, OpEds, etc.
- Let’s Turn Rising Generations Into War Resisters Rather Than Veterans by Rory Fanning
- Reclaim November 11 holiday as Armistice Day - John Michael O’Leary (Evansville, IN)
- Letter: Reclaim Armistice Day - William Thomas (Auburn)
- Celebrate peace, not war. Commemorate Armistice Day - Ronald L. VanNorstrand (Syracuse)
- New memorial a reminder of the price of war - Philip Anderson (Duluth, MN)
- Letters: Armistice Day - Rowland Lane Anderson (Santa Barbara, CA)
- Let's bring back Armistice Day - Sharon Abreu (Orcas Island, WA)
- Let’s return to peaceful focus of ‘Armistice Day’ - Phillip Pflager (San Jose, CA)
- Let's reclaim Armistice Day - Travis Weiner, LTE (Northern CO)
- COLUMN: These are a few of my scariest things - Larry Johnson, (Minneapolis, MN)
- For Veterans Day, let’s aim for peace - Larry Gilbert (The Villages, FL)
- Call it Armistice Day - Susan C. Lamont, (Santa Rosa, CA)
- Rethinking American Militarism; Reclaiming Armistice Day - KCfromChi
- Opinion: Veterans for Peace opposes violence - Members of Chapter 133 (Western Montana)
- A half-century after joining the Army Nurse Corps, a woman reflects on the long-ago choice, made as a girl - Madeleine Mysko (Baltimore, MD)
- Nov. 11 Armistice Day — honor Peace Day - by Patricia Hynes (Greenfield, MA)
- A Life Spent Visiting Wars, Promoting Peace Bill Christofferson (Milwaukee, WI)
- Celebrate peace by returning Veterans Day to Armistice Day
- Happy Armistice Day - Bill Christofferson (Milwaukee, WI)
- What America needs is a Department of Peace - Kim Carlyle (Greensboro, NC)
- Opinion: Don’t teach our kids weapons of war are fun - Gilbert Field (San Diego, CA)
- Veterans Day: task of promoting an enduring peace - Michael Caldwell (Vermont)
- A veteran's day - John Samuel Tieman (St. Louis)
National & Local News Stories
- These veterans want us to know we're observing Veterans Day all wrong
- Local vets reflect on Veterans Day after exit from Afghanistan (Western PA)
- Veterans Group on Annual Mission to Reclaim November 11 as Day for Peace
- Immigrants Have a Long Unrecognized History to Celebrate on Veterans Day
- Remembering the costs of war, veterans ring bell for peace (Juneau, AK)
- Veterans for Peace celebrate in Asheville (Asheville, NC)
- 'Silent casualties': Barnstable's 'Hidden Wounds' memorial acknowledges veterans' suicide (Cape Cod, MA)
- Peace vigil on Greenfield Common calls for return of Armistice Day (Greenfield, MA)
- Local events honor veterans, armistice (Fairbanks, AK)
- Local documentary, bell ringing honor veterans and the armistice (Fairbanks, AK)
- Two Red Oaks Were Planted in Binghamton in Honor of World War II Veterans (Broome County, NY)
- Veterans for Peace commemorate Armistice Day in St. Petersburg (St. Petersburg, FL)
- Local Peace Activists Observe Armistice Day, Before it Became Veterans Day (Syracuse, NY)
- Marine Cpl Hunter Lopez honored with engraved ‘Peace Pole’ in Desert Hot Springs (Palm Springs - Chapter 19
- Inland Northwest residents celebrate Veterans Day (Spokane, WA)
- Photos: Veterans Day 2021 through the eyes of student journalists (Western Montana)
- We Need to RECLAIM ARMISTICE DAY - (VFP Chapter 89 - Nashville, TN Weekly Radio Hour)
- Stop the War on the Poor: Militarism & Mental Health with VFP Member TJ Thompson
- Poetry reading by David Rothauser in Boston
- Video from VFP Executive Director Garett Reppenhagen in Portland, Maine
Chapter 41 - Cape Cod (Corporal Jeffry M. Lucey Chapter)
Chapter 46 - Monterey, CA
Veterans For Peace and the Peace Coalition of Monterey County commemorated the anniversary of Armistice Day with a remembrance at Window on the Bay in Monterey, CA. VFP Chapter President Michael Dempsey ran the bell at 11 am to ring out a message of peace with justice.
*Photo credits: Celia Bosworth and Craig Wandke*
Chapter 47 - Western PA
Chapter 47 in western PA gathered in Schenley Plaza with anti-war signs and anti-war flags. Then they “shined a light” on the evils of war and militarism for all to see.
Read the news article: Local vets reflect on Veterans Day after exit from Afghanistan
Chapter 51 - Syracuse, NY
Chapter 51 held a short program where Mayor Ben Walsh read the Armistice Day for Peace Mayoral Proclamation. Bells were rung, followed by a moment of silence at 11:00 a.m. to honor the true purpose of Armistice Day, and to renew the commitment to work for an end to all wars and to foster justice and peace at home and abroad.
Read the article & LTE:
Local Peace Activists Observe Armistice Day, Before it Became Veterans Day
Celebrate peace, not war. Commemorate Armistice Day by Ronald L. VanNorstrand
Chapter 50 - Traverse City, MI
Chapter 50 in Traverse City, MI participated in an Armistice Day march through downtown.
Chapter 56 - Humboldt Bay, CA
Attendees read a proclamation about reclaiming Armistice Day followed by ringing of church bells by all present.
Chapter 63 - Albuquerque, NM (Donald and Sally-Alice Thompson Chapter)
VFP Chapter 63 was once again asked by the United Veterans Council of New Mexico to open the annual Veterans Day ceremony at the NM Veterans Memorial by ringing the Armistice bell.
Pictured: Charles Powell and Sally-Alice Thompson ringing a bell for the "Eleventh Hour"
Photo Credit: Adolphe Pierre-Louis / Albuquerque Journal
Chapter 72 - Portland, OR
Chapter 72 gathered at Director Park in SW Portland, to mark the anniversary of the armistice that ended the "Great War" in 1918. At 11am attendees chimed their bells in unison, 11 times in a row. Following the bell ringing was a moment of silence, and then an open mic for those who wanted to make a statement or read a poem or sing a song in the spirit of the day.
Pictured: Mal Chaddock, President of VFP Chapter 72, sounding the bell bowl which he made. Mal also gave a brief history of Armistice Day after ringing the bell at 11am.
Chapter 89 Nashville, TN (Hector Black Chapter)
Chapter 89 marched in Nashville's Veterans Day parade handing out VFP tabling materials and doing what they could to reclaim peace while surrounded by Nashville's salute to militarism.
Pictured: Chapter President Tina Meli and volunteer Ronda Shelton
Check out Nashville in our Street Check-Ins video!
Chapter 90 - Binghamton, NY (Stu Naismith Chapter)
From Jack Gilroy: Peace Action and Veterans For Peace of Broome had a very nice event for our heroic killer drone whistleblower, Daniel Hale, at an Ivy League university, Cornell, in Ithaca NY. After a year of planning, the solidarity group of Peace Action of Broome County NY and Veterans for Peace of Broome County joined forces to have a heart, soul, and mind-touching event to celebrate seventeen American truth-tellers. Artist Rob Shetterly's portraits (over 250 to date) of Americans Who Tell the Truth is a traveling art museum. Broome County (NY) Peace Action and Broome County Veterans for Peace Chapter 90 had the seventeen portraits (each 37 x31 inches) for weeks at Broome County Public Library, then at Maine-Endwell High School, and for the whole month of November at Cornell's College of Human Ecology. Sixteen of the portraits were selected by vote after an intense study of all Americans Who Tell the Truth.
Chapter 90 VFP/ BC Peace Action, Maine-Endwell HS librarian and students, Cornell Human Ecology faculty, and some students, all studied Shetterly's portraits and text and voted for sixteen individuals. VFP of Broome and Peace Action of Broome added Daniel Hale in addition to the group selection.
On Armistice Day, 2021, artist Rob Shetterly spoke with passion about his selection of truth-tellers to paint from Sojourners Truth to his most recent portrait of Daniel Hale. Hale, is now in federal prison for telling the truth about the United States assassination program labeled as a war on terror. The portrait of Daniel Hale, on a large easel was the focus of our event at Cornell. Daniel's portrait was unveiled during the well-attended ceremony in the small gallery of Martha Van Rensselaer Hall.
Veterans For Peace of Broome and Peace Action of Broome County NY encourages other national chapters of our organizations to work to get a selection of Shetterly's truth-teller portraits of Americans Who Tell the Truth into schools and public libraries.
For more information about how to do this, contact Rob Shetterly at americanswhotellthetruth.org or write Jack Gilroy at email@example.com to learn how our upstate New York solidarity team organized our two-month exhibit.
Chapter 91 - San Diego, CA (Hugh Thompson Memorial Chapter)
Chapter 91 held a "Reclaim Armistice Day" Ceremony at the San Diego War Memorial. They displayed 99 headstones, one for each of the fallen service members from San Diego County who died in the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. This was followed by a solemn reading of their names, a moment of silence, music, and a few brief comments.
Chapter 92 - Seattle, WA
VFP 92 & other chapters gathered for their 15th Veterans/Armistice Day Parade in Auburn, WA. Afterward they assembled for bells ringing at St James Cathedral, Seattle and listened to church bells ringing 11 times on the 11th day of the 11th month to commemorate the victims of all wars and pass out Peace Poppies to remember the dead.
Chapter 93 - Ann Arbor, MI
Chapter 93 once again put up their Arlington Michigan Memorial display of one marker for every Michigan soldier lost in the Iraq and Afghan wars (230 markers). The purpose of the display is to honor those who have fallen, to provide a place to grieve, and to educate the public about the costs of war, as well as the needs of those returning from conflicts. They held a bell-ringing and Peace ceremony at 11am.
Watch Chapter 93's Street Check-In!
Chapter 99 - Asheville, NC
VFP chapter 99 held an event in downtown Asheville where they had music, readings, commentary, tabling with educational and inspirational materials along with fellowship in peace in abundance. The event culminated in eleven peals of the bells from the tower of the Basilica of Saint Lawrence nearby.
Read the news article: Veterans for Peace celebrate in Asheville
Chapter 100 - Juneau, AK
Chapter 100 observed Armistice Day with a short program and ringing of the bell at the Capitol Building. The public was invited to attend and join in the ringing of the bell.
Read the news article: Remembering the costs of war, veterans ring bell for peace
Chapter 102 - Milwaukee, WI
From Chapter 102: Our 15th annual Armistice Day program Thursday night brought a message of hope and peace on what too often has become a day to celebrate militarism, where every service member is a "warrior" and a "hero." Celebrating Armistice Day allows us to remind the public that it began as a day to promote peace. We were able to get brief coverage on Channel 6 that night, and have articles published by the Wisconsin Examiner and Urban Milwaukee, two online news services, to reach a broader audience.
This year's event combined an in-person audience of 75 at City Hall with another 43 who watched some or all of it on Zoom. An added twist was that Kathy Kelly spoke to us from Chicago. If you couldn't be there to hear Kathy Kelly and Clayborn Benson speak, and to enjoy the music of Frogwater and Harvey Taylor, you can watch the video here. We raised enough, from our own members and collecting from the City Hall audience, to cover expenses without breaking the bank.
Watch the full recording here
*Photo Credit: Susan Ruggles*
Chapter 104 - Evansville, IN
Members of Evansville's Veterans For Peace Chapter 104 gathered at the Four Freedoms Monument on the Evansville riverfront at 11:00 AM to commemorate the 103rd anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I. They marked the day of remembrance with song, poetry and reflections to continue the quest to fulfill the promise of the original Armistice Day in 1918.
Chapter 105 - Baltimore, MD
Chapter 105 participated in a vigil and bannering on the steps of the Baltimore War Memorial.
Read the article written by chapter member Madeleine Mysko: A half-century after joining the Army Nurse Corps, a woman reflects on the long-ago choice, made as a girl
Chapter 110 & 67 - Long Beach, CA
VFP, Military Families Speak Out, and the South Coast Interfaith Council came together to commemorate Armistice with a march from Valparaiso Plaza to the Lone Sailor Memorial at Bluff Park, followed by a two-part program.
Chapter 113 - Hawai'i
From Ann Wright: Our Veterans For Peace Chapter 113-Hawai'i had an Armistice Day sign-waving and vigil at the Hawai'i State Capitol on November 11 at 11:11am, 103 years after the 1918 Armistice of World War I. Thanks to World Can't Wait, Refuse Facism, Hawai'i Peace and Justice and Campaign Nonviolence for your support. We were joined by 3 guests from California and Colorado, including VFP member Will Covert from Camp Casey days-16 years ago!!!
At 7pm on November 11, VFP Chapter 113 had an islands wide zoom webinar and were joined by VFP member Jayson Mizula from Molokai who spoke about his petition to stop US Marine Osprey aircraft from low flying over Molokai; by Becka Garrison who spoke about community work on Red Hill and documentary filmmaker Samantha Farinella who film "Hunting In Winter" about Alaska veterans was shown on PBS Channel 10.
Chapter 119 - St. Petersburg, FL
Chapter 119 invited Veterans, local politicians and citizens to an Armistice/Veterans Day observance. They had an invocation, and readings of poems, an essay by Kurt Vonnegut, and song, followed by a minute of silence at 11:11 AM when the sound of cannons ceased firing with the playing of Taps.
Read the news article: Veterans for Peace commemorate Armistice Day in St. Petersburg
Chapter 133 - Western Montana
Chapter 133 held an Armistice Day Remembrance as they have done for several years.
Read the OpEd written by chapter members: Opinion: Veterans for Peace opposes violence
Chapter 146 - North Star (Fairbanks, AK)
From Alan Batten: In Fairbanks, Alaska the Armistice Day bell-ringing celebration was sponsored jointly by the Alaska Peace Center and North Star VFP Chapter 146. Twenty-seven peaceful citizens of Fairbanks met at the Veterans Memorial Park where we rang bells at 11:11 and sang songs of peace. Each of us spoke briefly about the meaning of Armistice Day in our own lives.
Read the news articles:Local events honor veterans, armistice
Local documentary, bell ringing honor veterans and the armistice
Chapter 156 - Rogue Valley, OR
From the chapter: The Rogue Valley Chapter of VFP rang bells to celebrate the end of wars. We want to replace Veterans Day and go back to celebrating Armistice Day, which is a day of peace, not a day to lionize the military.
Chapter 157 - North Carolina Triangle
From the chapter: Pictured here are some of the members of VFP's Eisenhower Chapter 157 who marched in the Armistice/Veterans Day Parade in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Nov. 6, 2021. Strong winds and cold temperatures didn't slow our steps, and the applause from bystanders warmed our spirits.
“You’ve got to kick at the darkness ’til it bleeds daylight”- B. Cockburn
Watch the short video on Facebook
Chapter 164 - North Coast, OR
North Coast Veterans For Peace held a meeting via Zoom.
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