SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — The Syracuse chapter of Veterans for Peace (VFP) held its annual Imagine Armistice in Syracuse event at Central Library on Nov. 11.
Members of the group gather every year on Veteran’s Day, which was originally known as Armistice Day, to commemorate the ending of World War I.
“This event is about reclaiming the original purpose of Armistice Day as a peace day,” said Arnie Stieber, a member of Veterans for Peace who saw conflict in the Vietnam War. “We’re not going to ever solve the world’s problems through death and destruction.”
The VFP used this opportunity to invite other community leaders to network and spread their individual messages of global and local peace. Representatives from several local organizations responded to their call for action.
“We want to work together because we’ve realized that [with] the work we’re doing, we’ll only meet our goals by working together with other community groups,” said Lauren Ruffrage with Moms Demand Action. “Forming these relationships and partnerships is what’s going to help create more success.”
Syracuse has seen concerning amounts of violence recently. According to data from the city, Syracuse had a murder rate of almost 20 per 100,000 residents, which is triple the national average, and a 31% increase in homicides per year over the last decade.
This has caused these citizens to hopefully inspire dialogue instead of violence.
“Selling violence is easy. I can teach a monkey to pull a trigger,” said veteran Arny Stieber, another VFP member. “Teaching dialogue, that’s tough. And if we start having dialogue, then we’re going to realize that we’re all pretty much the same.”