How to Mark Armistice Day, November 11

November 9th, 2020 - by David Swanson / World BEYOND War

On the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, 2018.

Armistice Day / Remembrance Day 103 Is November 11, 2020

David Swanson / World BEYOND War

November 11, 2020, is Armistice Day 103 — which is 102 years since World War I was ended at a scheduled moment (11 o’clock on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 — killing an extra 11,000 people after the decision to end the war had been reached early in the morning).

In many parts of the world this day is called Remembrance Day and should be a day of mourning the dead and working to abolish war so as not to create any more war dead. But the day is being militarized, and a strange alchemy cooked up by the weapons companies is using the day to tell people that, unless they support killing more men, women, and children in war, they will dishonor those already killed.

For decades in the United States, as elsewhere, this day was called Armistice Day, and was identified as a holiday of peace, including by the US government. It was a day of sad remembrance and joyful ending of war, and of a commitment to preventing war in the future. The holiday’s name was changed in the United States after the US war on Korea to “Veterans Day,” a largely pro-war holiday on which some US cities forbid Veterans For Peace groups from marching in their parades, because the day has become understood as a day to praise war — in contrast to how it began.

The story from the first Armistice Day of the last soldier killed — in the last major war in which most of the people killed were soldiers — highlights the stupidity of war. Henry Nicholas John Gunther had been born in Baltimore, Maryland, to parents who had immigrated from Germany.

In September 1917, he had been drafted to help kill Germans. When he had written home from Europe to describe how horrible the war was and to encourage others to avoid being drafted, he had been demoted (and his letter censored).

After that, he had told his buddies that he would prove himself. As the deadline of 11:00 a.m. approached on that final day in November, Henry got up, against orders, and bravely charged with his bayonet toward two German machine guns. The Germans were aware of the Armistice and tried to wave him off. He kept approaching and shooting. When he got close, a short burst of machine gun fire ended his life at 10:59 a.m.

Henry was given his rank back, but not his life.

Let’s Create Events Around the World:

Find and add events for Armistice Day 2020 to list here.

Use these resources for events from World BEYOND War.

Use these resources for Armistice Day events from Veterans For Peace.

Events Planned:

•  11/10 David Swanson speaking by Zoom to Veterans For Peace Southeast US regional meeting.

•  11/10 David Swanson speaking and taking questions on war abolition and WWII by Zoom at 10 a.m. UTC-5.

•  11/10 I Ain’t Marching Anymore: A Conversation on the History of Dissent with Chris Lombardi and Adam Hochschild.

•  11/11 David Swanson speaking by Zoom to Armistice Day Event in Milwaukee, Wisc., US

•  11/11 Webinar on The remarkable story of a young Catholic husband & father from Denver who was placed in military prison for refusing to be drafted into WWI

•  11/11 Armistice Day Bell Ringing in St. Paul, Minn.

•  11/11 Let Peace Be Their Memorial — annual wreath ceremony online in Vancouver BC

A Few Ideas:

•  Plan an online event with World BEYOND War Speakers.

•  Plan a bell ringing. (See resources from Veterans For Peace.)

•  Plan to stand in your door for 2 minutes at 11 a.m. on 11/11.

•  Get and wear white poppies and blue scarves and World BEYOND War gear.

•  Share graphics and videos.

•  Use hashtags #ArmisticeDay #NoWar #WorldBeyondWar #ReclaimArmisticeDay

•  Use sign-up sheets or link people to the Peace Pledge.

Learn More About Armistice Day:

•  November 11, 1918: A Poem by Bertha Reilly

•  Armistice Day 100 in Santa Cruz Film

•  Celebrate Armistice Day, Not Veterans Day

•  Tell the Truth: Veterans Day Is A National Day of Lying

•  An Armistice Day Newspaper from Veterans For Peace

•  We Need a New Armistice Day

•  Veterans Group: Reclaim Armistice Day As Day Of Peace

•  A Hundred Years After the Armistice

•  New Film Takes Stand Against Militarism

•  Wait Just a Minute

•  On Armistice Day, Let’s Celebrate Peace

•  Armistice Day 99 Years On and the Need for a Peace to End All Wars

•  Reclaim Armistice Day and Honor the Real Heroes

•  An Armistice Day Poem

•  Audio: David Rovics on Armistice Day

•  Armistice Day First

•  Audio: Talk Nation Radio: Stephen McKeown on Armistice Day

World BEYOND War is a global network of volunteers, activists, and allied organizations advocating for the abolition of the very institution of war. Our success is driven by a people-powered movement — support our work for a culture of peace.