Saturday, November 13, 2010

Veterans (Armistice) Day for Peace

Photo:  I am at the microphone, offering "Words of Peace" at the start of the "Veterans (Armistice) Day for Peace" of the Smedley D. Butler Brigade of Veterans for Peace, held on November 11, 2010 at Sam Adams Plaza, Faneuil Hall, Boston.  (Photo by Nate Goldshlag.)

This past Thursday was Veterans Day (formerly known as Armistice Day).  As some may know, I am a US Navy veteran (active duty from '90-'94).  Over the past few years, I have become increasingly involved with Veterans for Peace. 

Veterans for Peace is a non-profit organization made up of veterans who (according to its mission statement) recognize their “greater responsibility to serve the cause of world peace”; VFP is an “educational and humanitarian organization dedicated to the abolishment of war”.  The local chapter, the Smedley D. Butler Brigade, is named after Marine Corps General Smedley Butler, who won two Congressional Medals of Honor but then went on to write War is a Racket as he came to see that he had spent his career fighting for the interests of rich people and corporations. 

For the past several years, the Smedley Butler Chapter of VFP has marched after the Veterans Day Parade in Boston.  We're not part of the official parade because the organizers of the official parade do not want groups to march with more than one banner, nor do they want groups to march calling out cadences.  Since VFP wants to spread its message with multiple banners, signs, and cadences for peace, we march after the main parade, after the street sweepers and ambulance and so on.

After the parade, we had our special event, "Veterans (Armistice) Day for Peace" (pictured above).  There were many wonderful speakers and performers.  I'm going to share three videos I took.  The first two are partial performances by the Leftist Marching Band, and the third is a mime peace, "War through the Ages" (about 6 minutes).  I hope you will enjoy them.

I have found my involvement with the "Smedleys" to be very moving.  Some of the members have been peace activists for as long as I've been alive!