SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — On Veteran’s Day in Syracuse, the Syracuse Peace Council rallied in Billings Park to commemorate the end of World War I. Their mission is to take back Armistice Day, which remembers the end of the war and those who died fighting.
Coordinator for the Syracuse Chapter of Veterans for Peace, Ron Van Nostrand, said that this gathering was meant to bring awareness to the harm that war can have on our country and push for negotiation instead of fighting.
“We’re here to reclaim Armistice Day as a celebration and commemoration of the end of war, not of honor or glorify war itself,” Van Nostrand said.
Van Nostrand said that before Nov. 11 was celebrated as Veteran’s Day, people celebrated Armistice Day, which celebrated the end of war, more than the act of war itself. To reclaim Armistice Day means changing the narrative surrounding war and those who fight for their country.
The rally, which included speakers and a colleague reading a proclamation from Mayor Ben Walsh, created awareness for the need for peace in our world.
Part of the proclamation from Mayor Walsh read, “Whereas there no longer exists a national holiday dedicated to peace as was the intent behind the creation of Armistice Day and whereas with such a large focus on increased military budget, there is also imperative that critical domestic human needs such as education, health care, and avoiding catastrophic climate destruction are invested in.”
Patrons at the rally listened to statistics of how much money in the federal budget goes towards the military and learned the history behind Armistice Day.
Brent Bleier, a member of the Syracuse Peace Council, said that this is important to talk about, especially in the days of the war in Ukraine.
“The war in Ukraine is having a worldwide impact, so we’re trying to say it has to end by negotiation,” Bleier said.
The Syracuse Peace Council is working to get local lawmakers to advocate for peace in government, so that war is not needed in the future.