|Growing up in a military family we observed Veterans Day. We thanked and honored our veterans for their sacrifices with patriotic parades. Later, I learned about Armistice Day, the forerunner of Veterans Day, and wondered about its roots in our country.|
Armistice Day began Nov. 11, 1919. The president announced a day of mourning for the dead of World War I. Congress later adopted it as a national holiday. It joyfully celebrated the end of war and committed to ensuring peace and diplomacy among nations to prevent future military conflicts.
After the Korean War, the U.S. Congress rebranded Nov. 11 as Veterans Day. Honoring the warrior quickly morphed into honoring the military and glorifying war. Armistice Day was flipped from a day of peace into a day of displayed militarism.
Both days claim to honor our veterans and our country. But how we focus and what we honor matters. Shall we glorify war and killing? Or shall we honor one another and our humanity by choosing diplomacy first, to prevent war? Armistice Day focuses on prevention. It reflects on the cost and horrors of war rather than glorifying it.
We should honor one another when we live in peace with our neighbors. War should be a last resort to defend our great nation. This Armistice Day, let’s remember the full cost of war: the loved ones lost while serving their country, the wars we waged despite no evidence that we were in danger, the innocent casualties of war, the veterans who battle post-traumatic stress disorder and the despair of job losses, homelessness and suicide. Perhaps we’ll conclude that the message of Armistice Day and preventing future wars is the measure of true patriotism.
Jane Estes is chair of Arkansas Women’s Actions for New Directions.
Arkansas WAND will join Indivisible Little Rock and Central Arkansas and other local organizations and stand in solidarity to protect Arkansas votes and to support our US Postal Service. Some of the proposed cuts to the USPS are on hold, but others may go forward.
The Rally will take place SATURDAY at 11 a.m. in front of the Brady Station on Markham. Location map: https://goo.gl/maps/m4c39xy6HWXi179T9. Please park responsibly. Representatives of the organizations will speak. Bring a sign in support of our USPS and employees.
We would love for anyone who feels this is important to join us with your signs to SAVE THE POST OFFICE. This won’t take much of your time. Come for 15 minutes to an hour and make yourself heard! #USPSProtests
Remember Hiroshima: 75th Anniversary: Thursday August 6th, 7p.m. is an online, virtual commemoration of the 75th anniversary remembrance of the American bombing of Hiroshima. Presented by Arkansas WAND, Arkansas Coalition for Peace and Justice, Arkansas Peace Week, Pax Christi Little Rock and students from Pulaski Academy, the event is a reminder of the urgency to rid the world of living under thee threat of nuclear annihilation.
The program will include interviews, music, stories, short video, poem, and pleas for citizen action.
Students from the Amnesty International chapter at Pulaski Academy will read stories of the Hibakusha, or survivors, of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings that killed over 120,000 people and fatally injured thousands more. They will also interview two women, Melisa Laelan and Faith Laukon, from the Marshallese community in northwest Arkansas. Their families left the islands after the U.S. testing of nuclear weapons there during the 1950s left the islands uninhabitable.
Other speakers will include Tristan Norman and Dr. George Simon with Dr. Ira Helfand on video. Suzanne Michell will provide music and Jane Estes, Co-chair of the event, will moderate.
The 75th anniversary should raise awareness of the consequences of testing and using the most powerful weapons on earth with emphasis on actions citizens can take to influence Congress to ensure the safety of the bombs in the U.S. arsenal. Congress also needs to cancel plans for a $2 trillion modernization of those weapons. The ultimate goal is to eliminate the threat of a nuclear disaster by abolishing the weapons worldwide.
Peace groups around the world will be commemorating the event from August 6 through August 9 with church bells ringing, prayers for peace, and calls for citizens everywhere to sign the pledge to work toward worldwide nuclear weapons disarmament. U.S. leaders are urged to adopt a no-first use of nuclear weapons and repeal the sole authorization for the president to control the nuclear button. The International Treaty to Abolish Nuclear Weapons introduced in 2017 has been ratified by 40 countries. When 50 nations ratify the treaty, it will be illegal worldwide to build or possess nuclear weapons.
“Hiroshima Remembered: 75th Anniversary” will be archived on YouTube for later viewing. For more information, contact PeaceWins.org.
If you missed Dr. Ira Helfand’s talk last Monday, be sure to attend this month’s potluck! We will discuss his narrative of how how the U.S. and Russia did agree to reduce their arsenals and how we can do it again. Our challenge as WAND is to work together with Pax Christi, ACPJ and our national peace groups in helping to prevent a nuclear war. Sherry Simon, recently honored by the Arkansas Catholic magazine as “Arkansas Peacemaker of the Year,” will lead the discussion on his talk and Pax Christi’s project, Back from the Brink, about things we can do, large and small, to prevent a nuclear war for our children and future generations. The nuclear threat has not gotten the media attention that climate change finally has, but many of the solutions overlap. At least we can keep the public reminded of the critical nature of the nuclear threat.
We have many questions. Here are a few:
- How can your actions have any impact on nuclear weapons policy?
- Should WAND change our name back to it’s original name, Women’s Action for Nuclear Disarmament?
- Does my vote have any relevance for the future of our world?
Bring a dish to share
Bread and drinks provided
All are welcome!
This month, we are excited to welcome former WAND board member and chair of Arkansans for the Arts, Garbo Hearne. a group that aims to “serve the people of Arkansas as an independent statewide organization providing leadership focused on the promotion and advancement of the creative economy, on transforming policy in arts education, and uniting the state into one voice with a call to action by policy makers to increase investment in the arts.”
Tuesday, February 25th at 6 p.m. at US Pizza in Hillcrest, 2710 Kavanaugh Blvd. Mark your calendars now!
International Day of Protest
Saturday January 25, 4 PM at the Arkansas State Capitol
|On January 25th, people all over the world will be rising up in an International Day of Action to call for a Stop to War On Iran, and endless warfare everywhere! Join us in Little Rock as we speak out for Peace and shout down War.|
It’s a new decade, and there is a new Representative in the State House for District 36. Denise Ennett was the winner in the election held this past September to replace Charles Blake, who resigned to go to work for Mayor Frank Scott Jr.
Rep. Ennett is shown in a photo on her website holding a sign that says,
“If you don’t do politics, politics will do you.” Now that’s our kind
of woman! Her top issues are economic development, jobs, healthcare, and
veterans. She has also worked hard to restore an elected board for the
For more information on Rep. Ennett, you can go to her website, her Facebook page, and read her bio on Vote Smart. See you on Tuesday!
We are getting together with our friends at the Arkansas Coalition for Peace and Justice for a holiday party. Come join your fellow peace lovers and enjoy the season! Festive libations, nibbles, and fellowship promised.
| Tuesday, November 19th at 6:30 p.m.|
2510 Hidden Valley Drive in Little Rock
Pax Christi believes (like WAND) that the massive death, damage, years of suffering, and pure adulteration of humanity and creation caused by nuclear weapons should never happen again.
|Sherry Simon, PhD, a Clinical psychologist in private practice and President, Pax Christi Little Rock , will lead the discussion on Back from the Brink, a national movement to abolish nuclear weapons. On August 6, 2019, the 74th anniversary of the United States imposing nuclear devastation on Hiroshima, Japan, Pax Christi USA launched its Back from the Brink: The Call to Prevent Nuclear War Campaign. The Little Rock chapter has adopted the campaign as its signature program of activities for the year.Hundreds of religious, environmental, and peace organizations and local and state governments nationwide have joined the campaign. Arkansas WAND should be among them! |
Bring a dish to share
Bread and drinks provided
All are welcome!