For almost 25 years, Veterans For Peace Chapter 27, in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, has celebrated November 11 as the original ARMISTICE DAY, ringing bells 11 times at 11, as was done at the end of World War I, when the world came together in realization that war is so horrible, we must end it now. Four years ago, our national Veterans for Peace organization (www.veteransforpeace.org
) adopted a resolution encouraging all VFP Chapters to join in. As always, we encourage groups and individuals everywhere to join us in the ringing of bells on or around November 11, coupled with a personal or organizational commitment to peace.
This year, our peace commitment is partnered with Move to Amend at www.movetoamend.org
, knowing that too much of the corporate money, influencing ourelectoral process and democracy, is heavily tied up in maintaining the infrastructure that wants us to be in perpetual warfare.
We are also partnered with the Minnesota Arms Spending Alternatives Project at www.mnasap.org
, calling for local and national legislators to shift excessive war spending (benefitting mainly the 1%), back to meeting the essential needs of the majority of the American people, and indeed, the world.
We are also partnered with the work of David Swanson, particularly through his latest book, WHEN THE WORLD OUTLAWED WAR, available at www.davidswanson.org
. This tells the story of Frank Kellogg, U.S. Secretary of State (from Minnesota), and Aristide Briand of France, working together to pass the 1928 Kellogg/Briand Pact, still binding, to make war illegal as a means of settling international differences.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO HOLD YOUR OWN 11 BELLS CEREMONY, simply gather on November 11 (or near that time). Read the statement below,ring bells 11 times at 11, and pause for a moment of silence, or a larger discussion, to formulate your own commitment to peace:
The Armistice of 1918 ended the terrible slaughter of World War I. The U.S. alone had experienced the death of over 116,000 soldiers, plus many more who were physically and mentally disabled. For one moment, at the 11th hour of the llth day on the 11th month, the world agreed that World War I must be THE WAR TO END ALL WARS. There was exuberant joy everywhere, and many churches rang their bells'some 11 times at 11 a.m. on November 11, when the Armistice was signed. This went on for many years, and then slowly it was forgotten, not everywhere in the world, but certainly in the United States. Now we commemorate this moment again, ringing bells 11 times, followed by a moment of silence, to remember the many soldiers and civilians killed and injured in warfare, and to make our own commitment to work for peace in our family, our community, our nation, and our world.
The You Tube link below is Jack Nelson Pallmeyer, founder of MnASAP, speaking at last year's Chapter 27 vigil on November 11, when 11 of us slept/stood watch at the Occupy site in downtown Minneapolis:
Chapter 27 contacts for Armistice Day, 11 Bells are --