Armistice Day Bell-Ringing

Celebrate Peace on Armistice Day 11:00 AM on Monday, November 11, 2013 at Veterans Memorial Park (downtown Fairbanks at 7th and Cushman)

On the 11th day, of the 11th month in 1918 bells were rung worldwide to celebrate and recognize the ending of WW I, “The war to end all wars. ”

Writer Kurt Vonnegut, a WWII Prisoner of war wrote:

“…November eleventh, accidentally my birthday, was a sacred day called Armistice Day. When I was a boy all the people of all nations which had fought in the First World War were silent during the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of Armistice day, which was the eleventh day of the eleventh month.”

“It was during that minute in nineteen hundred and eighteen, that millions upon millions of human beings stopped butchering one another. I have talked to old men who were on battlefields during that minute. They have told me in one way or another that the sudden silence was the voice of God. So we still have among us some men who can remember when God spoke clearly to mankind.”

World wide in remembrance and in renewal of the call for world peace, for over 35 years thereafter bells were rung on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month.

Congress declared November 11 a holiday in 1938, ” …a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be hereafter celebrated and known as ‘Armistice Day’.”

The 83rd Congress amended the Act of 1938 by deleting the word “Armistice” and inserting in its place the word “Veterans.” On June 1, 1954, congress declared November 11th to be a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

In honoring only warriors on this sacred day have we lost sight of its original purpose?

With rhetoric and patriotic symbolism have we been distracting ourselves from recognizing the majority of war’s victims?

Maybe the best way we can honor our veterans is to refocus on the original meaning of this day.

Please join the Alaska Peace Center and North Star Veterans for Peace in rededicating this day to the cause of World Peace.

At 11:00 AM on November 11, 2013 at Veterans Memorial Park (downtown Fairbanks near City Hall) we will ring bells 11 times in honor of all of war’s victims and refocus our sight on a more just and peaceful world. Please consider joining us: either there, in your own home, social group, or spiritual place of gathering and ring bells as well. You have no bell to ring? Try being creative and make your own. This could be a great art project for your children.

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