At The State Capitol, Bells Toll For Peace

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By Roger Ehrlich for The News & Observer – Ninety-nine years ago, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, bells tolled around the world, and people poured into public squares to celebrate the end of what was called The War to End All Wars. For many years, Armistice Day was observed as a day to remember the dead of WWI and rededicate ourselves to never letting war happen again. This week, aided by a grant from the N.C. Humanities Council, a bell has been tolling from the 24-foot-tall Swords to Plowshares Memorial Belltower, a touring memorial that has been erected, for the fourth consecutive year, on the lawn of our State Capitol in Raleigh. The public has been adding inscriptions to the monument to bear witness to how war has affected their lives. These silver plaques, fashioned from recycled cans and glistening in the wind, bear heart-rending inscriptions in many different languages. The Belltower was dedicated on Memorial Day 2014 by the Eisenhower Chapter of Veterans for Peace with former N.C. State University alumni director and Air Force veteran Bob Kennel presiding. Its inspiration was the bronze door on the NCSU Belltower, which bears the inscription “And They Shall Beat Their Swords into Plowshares.” This Old Testament passage, sacred to Jews, Christians, Muslims and others, is a reminder of the original spirit of Armistice Day.

On Armistice Day, Let’s Celebrate Peace

Armistice Day No More War

By Kathy Kelly for Voices for Creative Nonviolence. 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 and enduring gas warfare. In “The Parable of the Old Man and the Young,” he revises the Biblical narrative about Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son, Isaac. Believing God willed the slaughter, Abraham prepared to bind Isaac and slay him. Owen transforms Abraham into the European powers who were willing to slaughter youthful generations in the trenches of World War I. Only in this telling, Abraham refuses to heed the angel who urges that the son be spared. The old man “slew the son, and half the seed of Europe, one by one.” Thirty million soldiers were killed or wounded and another seven million taken captive during World War I. Some 50 to 100 million perished from a flu epidemic created by the war.

Armistice Day

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By Staff of Veterans for Peace – Veterans For Peace calls on all members and all peace-loving people to take a stand for peace this Armistice (aka Veterans Day), Saturday November 11. We call for nationally coordinated local actions to demand diplomacy not war with North Korea, and the abolition of nuclear weapons and war. Veterans For Peace joins with the wider peace movement for actions before and after November 11th. In 2017, ninety-nine years after the end of World War I, “the war to end war”, the world finds itself on the brink of a nuclear war, again. The threat of a horrific nuclear exchange is possibly higher than it has ever been. The President of the United States Donald Trump has repeatedly threatened to attack North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea – DPRK), going so far as to say, while speaking to the U.N., that the U.S. will “totally destroy” the country. North Korea has also caused great alarm with its own threats, while testing long-range missiles and nuclear bombs. Twitter confrontations and saber rattling have only served to escalate tensions. The road to war is a slippery slope on which one misstep can lead to the beginning of catastrophic war. Even the use of conventional weapons would lead to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. Millions will die if there is a nuclear exchange.

Armistice Day 99 Years On And The Need For A Peace To End All Wars

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By David Swanson for World Beyond Wars – Believe it or not, November 11th was not made a holiday in order to celebrate war, support troops, cheer the 17th year of occupying Afghanistan, thank anybody for a supposed “service,” or make America great again. This day was made a holiday in order to celebrate an armistice that ended what was up until that point, in 1918, one of the worst things our species had thus far done to itself, namely World War I. World War I, then known simply as the world war or the great war, had been marketed as a war to end war. Celebrating its end was also understood as celebrating the end of all wars. A ten-year campaign was launched in 1918 that in 1928 created the Kellogg-Briand Pact, legally banning all wars. That treaty is still on the books, which is why war making is a criminal act and how Nazis came to be prosecuted for it. “[O]n November 11, 1918, there ended the most unnecessary, the most financially exhausting, and the most terribly fatal of all the wars that the world has ever known. Twenty millions of men and women, in that war, were killed outright, or died later from wounds. The Spanish influenza, admittedly caused by the War and nothing else, killed, in various lands, one hundred million persons more.” — Thomas Hall Shastid, 1927. According to U.S. Socialist Victor Berger, all the United States had gained from participation in World War I was the flu and prohibition.

Peace Advocate Climbs U.S. Navy Satellite Dish In Sicily

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By David Swanson for It’s Time for Democracy – On the morning of Armistice Day, November 11, 2015, longtime peace activist Turi Vaccaro climbed to where you see him in the photo above. He brought a hammer and made this a Plowshares action by hammering on the enormous satellite dish, an instrument of U.S. warfare communications. There’s a popular movement in Sicily called No MUOS. MUOS means Mobile User Objective System. It’s a satellite communications system created by the U.S. Navy. It has equipment in Australia, Hawaii, Chesapeake Virginia, and Sicily. The primary contractor and profiteer building the satellite equipment at the U.S. Navy base in the desert in Sicily is Lockheed Martin Space Systems.