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Veterans For Peace Chapter 161, Iowa City

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Who are the people in VFP 161?
Veterans For Peace, Chapter 161, based in Iowa City, welcomes veterans in the surrounding area who,
because of their personal experience and travails in a military infrastructure,
now join others locally and worldwide in
advocating for dismantling the military-industrial complex as a basis for prosperity.

June, 2017 vigil



Armistice Day, A Day to Recommit to Peace

by members of VFP 161 November 11th, 2018

One hundred years ago, bells worldwide were rung on the 11th month, the 11th day, at 11 AM, 1918, to celebrate the ending of World War I, "the war to end all wars." To commemorate that peaceful pledge, bells were rung around the world on November 11 for more than 35 years. Congress declared November 11th "a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be hereafter celebrated and known as Armistice Day." Then in 1954, Congress changed the name of the day to Veterans' Day. This year, Veterans' Day is being observed on November 12.

World War I was horrendous. Over 18 million people were killed, with about sixty percent of those being soldiers. As the Armistice was signed on November 11, 1918, there truly was exuberant joy in the streets of the USA and on every continent in the world. The vileness of the war was abhorrent to the peoples of the world, and they took hope in the promise that it had been "the war to end all wars." However, revulsion at the brutality of war is not a sufficient foundation for peace. The outbreak of World War II, just twenty-one years later, is evidence of that. 80 million died in World War II, with about thirty percent of those being soldiers.

Veterans For Peace is made up of veterans of the U.S. armed services, with experiences ranging from World War II to Afghanistan. To recognize the day as Armistice Day rather than Veterans' Day is not at all intended as a slight to veterans. In fact, the best way to honor military veterans, both dead and alive, is to make a commitment to work for peace and to never again send citizen soldiers to an unjustifiable war. Veterans For Peace, having experienced the military culture and ethic, have a unique responsibility to work for nonviolent paths to conflict resolution.

Now, in 2018, one hundred years after the end of World War I, the U.S. is engaged in the longest war in its history, in Afghanistan. The administration has unilaterally withdrawn from the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, which was negotiated with Iran and five other countries, and which has been adhered to by those countries. The U.S. has imposed sanctions on Iran, which will bring more affliction to Iranian civilians than to their government. The U.S. has withdrawn from a decades-old nuclear arms treaty, opening the door to a resumption of the nuclear arms race. The U.S. continues to be complicit in the Saudi coalition's barbaric assault on Yemen. The 2019 U.S. military budget is $82 billion higher than 2017s and will constitute over 55% of the U.S. discretionary spending budget.

We in the U.S. must press our government to end reckless rhetoric and military interventions that threaten rather than enhance our security. If we want peace, we have to work for peace, and this historic Armistice Day is the ideal time to recommit to peace. Veterans For Peace Chapter #161 is sponsoring an Armistice Day Observance in Iowa City at 10:45 AM on Sunday, November 11th, to be held at the Clinton St. entrance to Old Capitol. Attendees are urged to arrive ahead of time, as Assembly will be played promptly at 10:45 AM. Bells will again ring at 11:00 AM. The Observance will feature Veterans For Peace members from around the state. This event is more than just a historical remembrance. It is about today, about our pressing need to quash the continuing rush to war, and instead to take up the sweet burden of building a lasting peace. The observance is free and open to the public. An open mic discussion on how to build peace will take place after the Observance and after lunch at Old Brick.

A shorter version was published in The Gazette on 11-11-2018.


Danny Sjursen and Coleen Rowley: America Needs an Armistice
Local VFP Members Speak Out Against New Obscene Military Spending
Veterans For Peace Stands with Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange
Armistice Day 2018, Time to Recommit to Peace
September 14 2018, Congress passes AUMF
March 2018, a muddle of murky anniversaries
John Ivens on US policy on Yemen
Ed Flaherty on US policy on Gaza
Jeffrey Sterling, a former CIA employee, released from prison
VFP 161 leader, Jeff Strottmann passes Feb 6, 2017
Retired Air Force Major General Charles Dunlap discusses AUMF in Syria
Taking Yemen to Congress
Ed Flaherty on Yemen & US military budget
Ed Flaherty on 9-11
VFP on Memorial Day
Muhammad Ali's service
Ann Wright & Women's Boat to Gaza
View Dan Berrigan commemoration
Private Manning's service to country
David Hempel: It's time to organize

For further information, call John Jadryev at 43O-2Ol9 or E-mail Ed Flaherty <flahertyem[at]q.com>


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