In 1938. the federal government passed legislation making Nov. 11 a federal holiday, declaring: “It shall be a day dedicated to the cause of world peace and be hereafter celebrated and known as Armistice Day.” This holiday was created in remembrance of World War I.

This is what I learned in my early years in school. In 1954, Nov. 11 was renamed Veterans Day to honor U.S. veterans of all wars. Veterans Day now celebrates military strength and sacrifice, eliminating the original intent of avoiding war by committing to peace.

Ironically, World War I, or “The Great War,” was supposed to be the war to end all wars. Certainly, war was not the answer. I was born in 1943 and have never known one day of peace in this world. The U.S. has been directly or indirectly involved in every conflict since I was born. One of my greatest wishes would be that we return Nov. 11 to Armistice Day and strive to the original goals of that holiday by working towards the cause of world peace.

I have noticed in the past years that Veterans Day acknowledges only the American soldiers who lost their lives. In reality, far more civilians are killed in recent wars than soldiers. It’s time that we gave meaning to all lives.

Peter P. Sirois


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