Armistice Day Recap 2019

 

On the 101st Anniversary of Armistice Day, VFP Chapters and Members across the U.S. and abroad once again took the lead to Reclaim Armistice Day 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. Below you will find our featured stories, 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 across the globe!

You can view the full Armistice Day 2019 photo album here for additional pictures from actions across the world!

Don't see your chapter report below or want to make a change? Email samantha@veteransforpeace.org!

 

Featured Stories
VFP Members with

Armistice Day in Washington, D.C.

The weekend before Armistice Day, Veterans For Peace was lucky enough to be invited to join Jane Fonda at Fire Drill Fridays in Washington, D.C - actions to bring urgent attention to important intersectional analysis around Climate Change. Friday, November 8th focused on the intersection between War, Military and the Climate Crisis. About a dozen VFP members from Minnesota, North Carolina, Philadelphia, and as far away as California were joined local VFP members to march alongside Jane Fonda, CodePink and more. Speakers at the event included VFP Advisory Board Member Phyllis Bennis, Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream and Krystal Two Bulls of About Face. Check out the Livestream. 

On Armistice Day Ron Carvers's Waging Peace in Vietnam exhibit (which was featured at the VFP Convention in Spokane) opened it's run in D.C. at George Washington University. The opening was followed by a week-long series of events that included commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Mobilization Demonstration against the Vietnam War, the largest antiwar protest in American history, a book launch, a peace poetry open mic, three movies, the reenactment of Cortright v Resor and a full day symposium with the morning focused on convincing historians to include the GI Movement when teaching and writing about the war.

Listen to the audio documentary: Soldiers for Peace - featuring VFP members Susan Schnall, Paul Cox, VFP poet laureate Jan Barry, and more

Photo Credit: Dave Warren

 

Group at Portland Armistice Celebration

VFP Executive Director Garett Reppenhagen in Portland with Chapter 72

This Armistice Day, VFP Chapter 72 in Portland welcomed VFP Executive Director Garett Reppenhagen as their special guest. Chapter 72, allies, and friends gathered at Director Park striking a bell 11 times to Commemorate the 101st Anniversary of the End of World War One and the signing of the Armistice on the Eleventh Month, on the Eleventh Day, at the Eleventh Hour. 

Member Dan Shea read a Proclamation that culminated with 'Therefore, We of Veterans for Peace Chapter 72 of the City of Portland, Oregon, the "City of Roses," do hereby proclaim November 11th, 2019 to be Armistice Day in Portland, Oregon and encourage all residents to celebrate Peace by Divesting from War, to work for Peace at Home and Abroad, and to uphold our values of justice, freedom, and democracy for all.' Read the full proclamation here.

Executive Director Garett Reppenhagen then spoke, followed by an open Mic for other voices. Click the link below to listen to his full speech. After taking a group photo attendees walked up to the Oregon Historical Society to view the World War II African American Experience exhibit.

Check out the videos by Daniel Shea

Guest Speaker: Garett Reppenhagen, Executive Director of Veterans For Peace

Speakers: Veterans Jaime Skinner, Grant Remington & Albert Lee

Speaking: Former Army Medic, Veteran and Photojournalist Mike Hastie, who awards VFP Executive Director Garett Reppenhagen with one of his Photos & Garett's gracious response.

Former VFP72 President Grant Remington bursts in to the song: "Last night I had the strangest dream I ever dreamed before, I dreamed the world had all agreed, To put an end to war" what a great end and tribute to this Armistice Day Proclamation to End All Wars and to Celebrate Peace.

 

Brett Copeland Speaking at Chapter 102 Event

VFP Board President Gerry Condon and Brett Copeland in Milwaukee with Chapter 102

For their 12th annual Armistice Day event, Chapter 102 in Milwaukee had a great turnout of over 100 people despite a bitterly cold night. The program was co-sponsored by over 20 local groups and featured VFP Board President Gerry Condon. Unfortunately, planned speaker Suzanne Gordon (Journalist and Author - "Wounds of War: How the VA Delivers Health, Healing, and Hope to the Nation's Veterans"), was ill and unable to travel but arranged for Brett Copeland, executive director of the Veterans Healthcare Policy Institute, with whom she works closely, to come instead. Music was provided by acoustic trio The Pardee Boys. View the full photo album.

In addition, representatives of Veterans For Peace and labor unions representing workers at Milwaukee VA hospital held a Veterans Day news conference about the privatization of the VA in front of the hospital. Read the full release.

Listen to Suzanne Gordon on Milwaukee's NPR: Health Care Journalist Makes The Case For Preserving the Veterans Health Administration

Listen to Board President Gerry Condon on Devil's Advocate radio show: Today is Armistice Day and Gerry Condon talks about what that means to him and Veterans for Peace.

Pictured: Brett Copeland, Photo Credit: Susan Ruggles

 

Group at Golden Rule Fundraiser with VFP Flags

VFP Golden Rule Project and Hawai'i Chapter 113

In honor of Armistice Day this year, Hawai`i Chapter 113 hosted an Armistice Day Commemoration, community potluck, and Golden Rule Peace Boat fundraiser. Attendees were invited to learn about stopping privatization of the Veterans Administration, the Red Hill Jet Fuel tanks above the water supply of Honolulu, and Father Michael Lapsley from South Africa spoke on healing of memories. 

VFP Golden Rule Project Coordinator Helen Jaccard gave a presentation about the history and mission of the Golden Rule anti-nuclear peace boat. Afterwards there was a film screening of the award-winning documentary “Making Waves: The Rebirth of the Golden Rule”. 

In addition, the Honolulu City and County Council unanimously passed a resolution supporting the UN Nuclear Ban treaty for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

About the Golden Rule: In 1958 Quaker activists sailed Golden Rule towards the Marshall Islands to interfere with atmospheric nuclear weapon testing. They were stopped and arrested in Honolulu, which spurred worldwide outrage that ultimately resulted in the Limited Test Ban Treaty of 1963. Learn more about the Golden Rule.

 

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Chapter Reports
Chapter 1 Demonstrating in Maine

Chapter 001 - Auburn, ME (Tom Sturtevant Chapter)

Maine Chapter 001 members gathered at Monument Square on Armistice Day in Portland with banners and flags. As the traditional "Veterans Day" parade passed by them, they engaged with on-lookers and marchers.

 

VFP UK Marchers

VFP United Kingdom

Nearly two dozen VFP UK members gathered this year for their annual Remembrance Day (Armistice Day) gathering at the Cenotaph in Whitehall. From the news article: “Upon arriving at the Cenotaph, VfP UK member Ben Griffin placed a handmade wreath, mostly of white poppies, with two red ones, onto the memorial. The wreath had the phrase “Never Again” in big bold letters at the centre...A VfP member recited the poem “Suicide in the Trenches”. This was followed by a folk song rendition of 1916 by VfP UK member Jim Radford. The experience of the VfP UK procession is quite different from all those of the various military units which immediately proceeded, in that its focus was clearly on loss rather than on pride or accomplishment.”

Read the full news article: Veterans for Peace UK solemnly commemorate tragedy of war and its victims

 

Chapter 9 Marching in Boston

Chapter 9 - Boston, MA (Smedley Butler Brigade)

For something like the 30th year the Smedley Butler Brigade followed behind the local Veterans' Day parade (they are not allowed as they are for peace). They had their bands and brought signs advocating SOVA, Anti-Raytheon campaign, Stop funding weapons for the Saudi's, DOD the biggest polluter, etc.

At the end of the parade they gathered at Sam Adams Park, Fanueil Hall, for their annual Armistice Day commemoration. Keynote speaker Andrew Bacevich, who is on the VFP advisory board, spoke on "What we owe the troops". The Leftist Marching Band provided music.

Listen: Featured Speaker Andrew Bacevich on Radio Boston (Dr. Bacevich's interview is the second half of the program)

 

Chapter 14 Members

Chapter 14 - Gainesville, FL

VFP Memorial Mile Historic Marker Unveiling on Armistice Day 2019: This year on Armistice Day, the city of Gainesville unveiled 2 markers on 8th Ave. to commemorate Memorial Mile and the efforts of Gainesville Veterans For Peace Chapter 14 to remember those who have died in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The city of Gainesville has already renamed that stretch of 8th Ave. Memorial Mile (Read the News Story).

Gainesville VFP places tombstones that include each American Service members name, date of death, age, branch of service, rank and hometown of those who have died in Afghanistan and Iraq wars since 2007. This year, Chapter 14 placed more than 6,957 tombstones.

The tombstones and other displays including banners which tally the true costs of war: loss of lives both military and native civilian population, military budget vs. domestic and testimonies of returning service members are on display. Each year, people come to the Memorial Mile to place flowers and other expressions of love at the tombstones.

Watch the News Story: The Memorial Mile returns as a visual representation of lives lost

Photo Credit: Ken Cornell

 

Chapter 23 on the bridge in freezing snow

Chapter 23 - Rochester, NY

This year, a small band of VFP Chapter 23 members in Rochester, NY ignored the dire warnings of the National Weather Bureau and ventured out to the Veterans Memorial Bridge on the morning of November 11, 2019 in freezing weather to Remember Armistice Day. In the following 24-hours Rochester received a record 17.8" of snow.

Photo Credit: Phyllis E. Griswold

 

Panelists of Imagine Armistice Event

Chapter 26 - Chicago, IL

This year, Chicago VFP Chapter 26 expanded Armistice to include all violence - guns, police, sexual, racial, nationalistic, domestic, as well as the military. On Armistice Day, they hosted a panel discussion at the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum on what community groups are doing to bring Peace at Home.

 

Chapter 27 - Minneapolis / St. Paul, MN

Chapter 27 Twin Cities had their Armistice Day event at the Minnesota State Capitol. Several members walked 11 miles from downtown Minneapolis to the Capitol in St. Paul. They rang the replica Liberty Bell along with former Governors Al Quie and Jesse Ventura. The chapter teamed up with City of the Bells and bells were ringing all over the cities at 11 a.m.

Read the article by member Mike Messner: Peace advocates have long been found among veterans who fought in America's wars

Read the OpEd by members Michael McDonald and Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer: For Veterans Day, we should honor vets by saving the planet and ending senseless wars

Read the news story: Two ex-governors help bring big bell to life to honor veterans

Another news story: Golden Valley Vietnam Vet Leads Veterans Day March to St. Paul

 

NYC Parade Marchers

Chapter 34 - New York, NY

Chapter 34 marches every year in the annual NYC Parade on Fifth Avenue. This year they had about 75 marchers in their Peace Contingent - including folks from VFP, VVAW, Military Families Speak Out, Granny Peace Brigade, and other groups. Despite the parade guidelines prohibiting any slogans, they chanted "No More Wars" as they went by the reviewing stand. As always, spectators cheered them on as they went by.

View the full photo album by Ellen Davidson.

View the full photo album by Hideko Otake.

 

Chapter 35 - Spokane, WA

Spokane Veterans For Peace hosted an Open Mic session at their Armistice Day Program on November 11, 2019. Opening with a traditional ringing of the bell eleven times at 11:00 AM in the Community Building, VFP members then gave a brief description of VFP and positions on issues involving war, veterans, and cultural violence before opening the microphone for relevant remarks, readings, poems and songs.

Read the news story: Spokane Veterans For Peace celebrate Armistice Day, not Veterans Day, to focus on peace

Photo Credit: Libby Kamrowski / The Spokesman-Review

 

Chapter 42

Chapter 42 - Connecticut

Although they did not have a specific Armistice Day event, members of VFP Chapter 42, in conjunction with the Connecticut Peace and Solidarity Coalition and others, hosted the Connecticut Peace Conference. Titled "Retooling The Connecticut War Economy: How We Can Build Good, Green Jobs & Infrastructure For Human Needs & Peace", the event featured Keynote Speaker Medea Benjamin of Code Pink in addition to two panel discussions. VFP Member Jim Brasile was a moderator of the Conference and made sure to mention the taking back of Armistice Day as a Day of Peace.

 

Chapter 46 Event Flyer

Chapter 46 - Monterey, CA

From Chapter 46 President, Justin Loza: Veterans For Peace Chapter 46, the Peace Coalition of Monterey County, Monterey Peace and Justice Center, and Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Monterey Branch presented an open mic event, "DropTheMIC" (as in, drop the Military Industrial Complex, a social movement initiated by About Face: Veterans Against the War) on Saturday, November 9th at the Peace and Justice Center in Seaside, CA. Veterans and supporters took the mic to share anti-war, self-penned works of poetry, songs, readings, and quotations.

The open mic segment was followed by a screening of the Academy-award winning documentary, "They Shall Not Grow Old". The film was created using original footage of World War I from the British Imperial War Museum archives, most of it previously unseen, all over 100 years old by the time of release. The film is a story of the human beings who were conscripted to fight in perhaps the savagest of modern wars, under horrific conditions. The film stands apart from most war documentaries because if avoids any filter between the soldiers' recollections and the viewer. In that sense, it is a fine anti-war project.

 

Chapter 47 - Western PA

Beyond Vietnam: MLK Anti-War Speech Re-Enactment: Co-sponsored by VFP Chapter 47, the Pittsburgh chapter of WILPF, and twelve community groups, Pittsburgh's renowned actor Wali Jamal performed the dramatic reading of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Beyond Vietnam speech.

The dramatic reading of the speech delivered by Dr. King in 1967 at Riverside Church, linking war, racism, and poverty was followed by a brief all-participant discussion, "How can we use MLK's insights in the work we are doing?" and refreshments.

 

 

 



Chapter 50 - Traverse City, MI

VFP Chapter 50 braved freezing temperatures on Armistice Day for a community ceremony honoring Veterans and victims of war to honor those we have lost to war.

Read about the local student chosen to play 'Taps' at the ceremony: Northern People: Frank takes on 'Taps'

 

Chapter 51 with VFP Banners and Posters

Chapter 51 - Syracuse, NY

For Armistice Day this year, VFP Chapter 51 in Syracuse, NY joined with the Syracuse Peace Council for an event on the steps of the local City Hall. From 10:30 to 11:00 am they gathered for a vigil, and at 11am they listened to the bells of the city ring out in remembrance of the joy and celebration of peace. Mayor Ben Walsh issued a proclamation declaring November 11, 2019 to be Armistice Day for Peace in the City of Syracuse.

Letter to the Editor: Restore Armistice Day its original purpose: world peace

View their letter to Mayor Ben Walsh
Check out the PDF of the signed Proclamation

 

Chapter 61 Member Marching in Parade

VFP in Saint Louis

The VFP contingent in the local parade in Saint Louis had a beautiful day for their march. The local members got to meet fellow veterans and made connections with American Legion and VFW members who knew nothing about the Mission Act and were very interested to know more.

 

 

 

Chapter 63 - Albuquerque, NM

As in recent years, VFP Chapter 63 was asked to ring the Armistice bell at the Veterans Day ceremony at the New Mexico Veterans Memorial. Making this occasion different, when the band stopped playing, no introductions were made, Veterans For Peace members stood in silence. Then at precisely 11 am, the large bell was tolled 11 times by former chapter President, Kris Hardy. Next, former chapter President, Charles Powell provided remarks on the history of Armistice Day and the tradition of bell ringing.

 

 

Chapter 80 - Duluth, MN

On Monday, Nov 11th Chapter 80 hosted "War Militarism and the Climate Crisis: what are the Connections?" in conjunction with Justice Hub of Peace. VFP Member John Clark Pegg shared a presentation and lead a discussion giving attendees the opportunity to explore the connections. 

 

Chapter 89 Marchers in Local Parade

Ch. 89 - Nashville, TN

Veterans for Peace Chapter 89 marched in the Nashville Veterans Day Parade trying to spread the word about Reclaiming Armistice Day. Chapter President Joey was joined by local members Arnold, Ronda, Monet, Tillman, Tom, Levin and Jim. They dressed up Arnold's van with a message of Peace. Along the way they were greeted by their good friends Justin and Eli. They got many waves and points and yes, many blank stares as they pushed the envelope of consciousness about the need for peace, the end of militarism and the need to Save Our VA from privatization.

Listen: VFP Nashville’s weekly radio hour - Let’s Reclaim Armistice Day

 

Chapter 90 - Binghamton, NY

VFP Chapter 90 gathered with Peace Action of Broome at the First Congregational Church at 11 AM to "ring the large ground bell in celebration of peace—the traditional Armistice Day. The day to lift hearts and minds to celebrate an end to war. They then gathered for their annual cemetery to illustrate the overwhelming number of casualties of wars we need to take responsibility for in our attacks on land and people outside of our nation. Specifically for this 'cemetery': Viet Nam, Afghanistan & Iraq" (from Jack Gilroy, Chapter 90 President). The event also featured an open microphone and attendees sang Bring 'Em Home as the Veterans Day parade passed. View the short video by Vera Scroggins.

Photo Credit: Vera Scroggins

 

Chapter 91 Marching with VFP Flags

Chapter 91 - San Diego, CA (Hugh Thompson Memorial Chapter)

In addition to marching in the local parade with messages of peace, the San Diego chapter of Veterans For Peace set up the "Hometown Arlington West Memorial" display on the front lawn of the USS Midway Museum. Chapter veterans from all five services honored the 300+ fallen brothers and sisters from Southern California who have died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with special memorial markers. The public was invited to stop by, read their names, honor the ultimate sacrifice made by these local fallen veterans, and to reflect on the overall toll of ongoing wars.

Photo Credit: Gil Field

 

Chapter 93 - Ann Arbor, MI

Every year, Chapter 93 observes Armistice Day by setting up the Arlington Michigan memorial. With one grave 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. Unfortunately, this year, the display was cancelled due to weather and safety concerns for anyone who would have to drive to the event.

 

Chapter 100 - Juneau, AK

VFP Chapter 100 in Juneau observed Armistice Day with a short program, followed by a minute of silence, and ending with the ringing of the bell in front of the state capitol building.

Watch: On Veterans Day, Juneau group rings bell for peace

 

Raging Grannies Singing

Chapter 101 - San Jose, CA

Before their main event for Armistice Day, Veterans For Peace Chapter 101 joined with SJPJC Local Peace Economy Working group, and other peace groups for a potluck meal. In addition to food and conversation, VFP Member Phil Pflager spoke briefly about the meaning of Armistice Day. After the potluck, members of the peace community gathered to ring a bell and focus on the desire to end the horror of war rather than celebrate it. Bells ringing at 11am were followed by a moment of silence, songs by the Raging Grannies, and The Dance of Peace featuring Khalilah Ramirez and Sharat Lin.


Chapter 106 with their VFP Banners

Chapter 106 - North Texas

From Chapter 106 Member Leslie Harris: Veterans For Peace Chapter 106, North Texas braved the cold, rain, and 40-mph winds to march in the 2019 Dallas Veterans Day Parade with their theme of: PEACE IS PATRIOTIC! We held a bell ringing ceremony during which VFP 106 president, Ron Unger, read a statement about Armistice Day -- the original November 11 day to remember those who died in the terrible carnage of WWI and declaring it the "war to end all wars" -- a day to celebrate PEACE! Rev. Diane Baker rang a bell 11 times, to remember the bell-ringing of many churches who rang their bells 11 times at 11 a.m., on November 11, when the Armistice was signed. We passed out flyers about Armistice Day on one side and the trade-offs -- "Costs of War to Taxpayers in Dallas County" -- on the other.

Photo Credit: Dave Jensen

 

Chapter 104

Chapter 104 - Evansville/ Southern IN

On Armistice Day, VFP 104 had about 20 members and supporters come together to reflect on the armistice of 1918 and its historical significance to peace. Members sang, recited poetry, and spoke about the folly of war. We also used the occasion to award our chapter’s annual $1000 peace scholarship to Nadia Scharf, a senior at Signature School.  

View the full photo album

Link to the text of the keynote address by Veteran Lynn Kinkade


Chapter 133 - Western Montana

Chapter 133 celebrated Armistice Day and the continuing struggle for Peace with a short program hosted in tandem with Women in Black and the Jeannette Rankin Peace Center.

Read the OpEd by members of the Western Montana Chapter: Commemorate day of peace

 

Chapter 146 - Fairbanks, AK

VFP Chapter 146 and the Alaska Peace Center honored the tradition of Armistice Day and reiterated the call for world peace and the end of war as an instrument of policy. On November 11th at 11am they rang bells for peace and shared peace testimonies at Fairbanks, Alaska's Veterans Park.

 

Swords to Plowshares Belltower

Chapter 157 - North Carolina Triangle / Swords to Plowshares Belltower at State Capitol

This year, Triangle Chapter 157 had multiple events spanning from November 8th - 12th. Events included:

The Swords to Plowshares Belltower Memorial outdoor exhibit on the North Carolina State Capitol Grounds. Visitors were welcomed to ring the big bell and inscribe one of the recycled-can aluminum plaques to memorialize how they or someone close to them has been affected by war.

An 11th Hour Armistice Day Centennial Commemoration and Call For Action that included bell ringing, plaque-hanging, poetry, song, testimonials and featured speaker Patrick O'Neill, a local 'Kings Bay Plowshares 7' activist who is awaiting sentencing for non-violent civil disobedience drawing attention to nuclear disarmament and International Treaty to Ban Nuclear Weapons.

The actions culminated in hand delivering a petition with over 850 signatures to "End Forever Wars" to staff of Senator Tillis on the '11th Hour' on Nov 12th to call for him to repeal the A.U.M.F., so that soldiers and civilians do not continue to be put in harms way without Congress debating and declaring War as required by the U.S. Constitution.

Watch Chapter 157 spread the message of peace in the local Armistice / Veterans Day Parade

Check out the Swords to Plowshares Belltower Facebook Page for more great images and videos!

 

VFP Flag and Chapter 161 Event Attendees

Chapter 161 - Iowa City

This year, November 11th marked the 10th consecutive year that VFP Chapter 161 has sponsored an Armistice Day Observance. The observance began with a bugler and VFP 161 treasurer playing "assembly." They were joined by members of VFP chapters 163 and 169, as well as a public crowd of over 100. The observance was followed by a free lunch for all and open mic and remarks from special guests Coleen Rowley & Danny Sjursen.

Read the News Story: Vets for peace aim to reclaim the meaning behind Armistice Day

Photo credit: Megan Nagorzanski / Daily Iowan

Chapter 182 - Baja Mexico

On Armistice 2019, VFP 182 Sgt. Barrios Memorial Chapter and the Unified U.S. Deported Veterans Resource Center rallied at the world's most transited border crossing. From Member Robert Vivar: "Support for the warrior that has been deceived and a call to end useless wars to enrich the greedy 1% and the Military Industrial complex. Bring deported Veterans home. Stop the deportation of Military Veterans."

 

 

 


VFP Chapters in Local Armistice / Veterans Day Parades

Marchers from Chapter 13

Chapter 13 - Tucson, AZ
(Photo Credit Cara Bissell)

Marchers from Chapter 55

Chapter 55 - Santa Fe, NM
(Photo Credit Mike Messner)

Member Don Kimball with VFP Flag

VFP Member Don Kimball holds a VFP flag near the Las Vegas Veterans Day parade. In 2016, Las Vegas police kicked out VFP marchers. Watch the news story.

Marchers from Chapter 168

Chapter 168 - Louisville, KY
(Photo Credit Carol Trainer)



 

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