You can revive Armistice Day

By Perry Willis

First news of peace in 1918

November 11th used to be called Armistice Day. Americans celebrated that day in memory of the moment when the First World War ended on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918. Please understand…

Armistice Day was a valuable holiday!

It reminded people of the biggest mistake the political class ever made — a world war fought over nothing!

Alas, the politicians could not abide such a reminder of their folly, so they eventually changed Armistice Day into something they could exploit — Veterans Day.

Whereas Armistice Day highlighted the dangers of militarism and interventionism, politicians now use Veterans Day to promote those things. They exploit war deaths to advance militaristic schemes, loudly proclaiming…

“Our soldiers fought to preserve your freedom!”

But is that really true? You should stress-test the claim. We think you’ll find it has the same validity as most political statements — little to none. We, at the Zero Aggression Project, have a resource you can use for this purpose. I’ve written nine articles that review major U.S. wars, military incidents, and foreign policy entanglements.

  1. Were early U.S. wars good or bad?
  2. Did Teddy Roosevelt co-found the Empire of Japan?
  3. Did U.S. politicians support the more evil side in World War One?
  4. How U.S. politicians helped create the Soviet Union
  5. How blundering U.S. politicians enabled the rise of Nazi Germany
  6. How U.S. politicians fostered the rise of radical Islam
  7. Was World War Two a “good war?”
  8. What if World War Two had been voluntarily funded?
  9. The Cuban Missile Crisis was a fraud

Each article answers the following questions…

  • Did the war or policy defend America?
  • Did the war or policy defend freedom?
  • Did the war or policy improve the world?

These articles also contribute to answering a deeper question – would we be more secure if the military was funded through voluntary donations, rather than taxes? We believe the evidence is overwhelming that U.S. wars have…

  • Endangered U.S. security
  • Reduced freedom
  • Harmed the world
  • Injured and destroyed veterans for little or no benefit

So please ponder the question of how voluntary funding for the military might make us more secure. And if you find the above articles of value, please share them with others. Start conversations about the correct way to honor veterans and the war dead. We believe it should be possible to honor their courage and mourn their loss, without telling lies about how the politicians misused them. We think such conversations could revive what Armistice Day once did for us.

Show Comments 14


  1. We need the Convention of the states to rein in the Federal government now.
    Article V U.S. constitution.

  2. I’ve not gotten to your argument for voluntary funding of the military, but given that Article 2, Section 2 declares “[t]he President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States” I’m not comfortable with putting the military budget into the realm of voluntary funding. As divided as our country is, at the moment, it would be dangerous to make the salaries and supplying of our service personnel subject to “who wants to pay for {current President}’s military”. I may feel differently after reading the article, but on the surface I am not optimistic about the idea.

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      We all suffer a loss of income when we fail to satisfy our customers. The same kind of consumer control should apply to politicians and government employees, including the military. Absent this kind of consumer control we will never be able to prevent politicians from misusing the military and squandering soldiers’ lives. We will also never be able to make generals and admirals spend their funding frugally.

  3. I was born on the very last Armistice Day, and I am saddened by the way the holiday was transformed by politicians from a day to celebrate peace to a day to justify politicians’ wars.

    Tomorrow is my birthday, and I am considering posting my thoughts about this on FB, with a link to this ZAP post.

    However, I probably will not do this because so many people have a knee-jerk, negative reaction to the suggestion that veterans did not really die to protect our freedom, that they died for politicians’ war-mongering. They will say that this idea is an insult to fallen and injured veterans and an unpatriotic position. This emotionality would prevent them from even looking into this post and the nine related articles. I want to find a way to engage people without turning them off before arguments like this one can be presented.

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  4. “Sudden silence was the Voice of God” Kurt Vonnegut.
    Upon Ending The First World War

    “The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.” George S. Patton

    “We can both support our troops and not support a policy that would waste our troops.” A. Nonymous
    “If you want Peace, be a Bridge.” A. Nonymous.
    “Plant Justice. Harvest Peace.” A. Nonymous
    “If you want peace, work for justice.”
    Pope Paul VI , For The Celebration Of The Day Of Peace, 1 January 1972


    “Sudden silence was the Voice of God”
    Kurt Vonnegut {WW2 POW}
    Breakfast of Champions (1973)

    “I will come to a time in my backwards trip when November eleventh,
    accidentally my birthday, was a sacred day called Armistice Day. When I was a boy, and when Dwayne Hoover was a boy, all the people of all the nations which had fought in the First World War were silent during the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of Armistice Day, which was the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

    It was during that minute in nineteen hundred and eighteen, that millions upon millions of human beings stopped butchering one another. I have talked to old men who were on battlefields during that minute. They have told me in one way or another that the sudden silence was the Voice of God. So we still have among us some men who can remember when God spoke clearly to mankind.

    Armistice Day has become Veterans’ Day. Armistice Day was sacred. Veterans’ Day is not.

    So I will throw Veterans’ Day over my shoulder. Armistice Day I will keep.
    I don’t want to throw away any sacred things.

    What else is sacred? Oh, Romeo and Juliet, for instance.

    And all music is.”

    End Msg

  5. Please take me off your list. I drew combat pay for three years in a row when I was young. If nobody will fight just see how long you still have the freedom to do what you are doing. If some people will fight you might keep that freedom. Are all wars bad? Are all wars good? No and no. The people that start wars usually don’t have to fight in them. It has been a long time since kings rode at the head of their armies.

    Still, I promise you that if nobody is willing to fight, bad guys will take you and yours and make your life hard and short. It is not at the moment. For that thank a Vet. Maybe even on veterans day.

    I don’t know how I got on your list. Take me off (please).

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      We will remove you from our list. But for the sake of the other readers here, I just want to point out that you make assertions about war without providing any evidence. We did the exact opposite. We wrote nine articles jam-packed with evidence to defend our assertion that America would be more secure if the military was funded voluntarily. Did you read those articles?

      We both want the same thing – a more secure America. Absent you refuting the specific evidence we provided it is impossible for anyone to evaluate your conclusion that tax funding is still required.

  6. Your argument is replete with Logical fallacy, Sophistry, cognitive bias, and pseudo-intellectual incongruence of Logic.

    The premise that this holiday had anything but propaganda value for the American people from the onset – even as “Armistice Day” is puerile gullibility. It does not matter what the holiday is called the intent and purpose is the same. Propaganda and adoration/praise of the State… The psychological masturbation of Statism as heroic and intelligent.

    They made this change when I was a child… It had exactly zero impact on anyone’s lives, as it was propaganda as Armistice Day, and it is the same civic propaganda as Veterans Day.

    I have a better idea. Eliminate the Propaganda of ALL State holidays. They’re all BS.

    Your characterization of “what” Armistice Day “was” is puerile romanticism.

    The apparatus of Statism is propaganda. State holidays ONLY serve a function of propaganda. The psychological manipulation and exploitation of human beings. All Statism is mental illness, lobbying to change Veterans Day back to Armistice Day is a repugnant and puerile exercise in Statist idiocy. Yet another childish exercise in malfeasance.

    Moreover, your bias towards veterans could not be more ignorant and bigoted. I am a veteran and I have yet to meet a single Veteran who is a war monger or who has not lived to have regrets about WAR. Veterans do NOT enjoy war. They despise it. But if you don’t have the courage to fight… Don’t criticize those who do. For the pusillanimous are who benefit from the selfless actions of Veterans and the sacrifices they make to protect the ONLY civic legal system that lawfully protects Inalienable human rights in the entire world!

    Clearly you are oblivious of the irrefutable Logic of how all Veterans serve to protect Freedom… But you’re probably one of the multitude who’ve never even bothered to understand.

    Every word of the Constitution is Law… Including The Bill of Rights! You know the PERMANENT immutable amendments to the original draft of the Constitution which had ZERO lawful protections of the Inalienable Rights of Freedom, Independence, and Liberty!

    Every member of our military services swears a lawful oath TO PROTECT THAT LAW. The ONLY civic law of it’s kind anywhere else in the world. The ONLY Constitution in the world that implicitly and lawfully protects the Inalienable circumstances of Individual birth – Freedom, Independence, and Liberty.

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      You assert that Veterans Day is used for statist propaganda. We agree and our article says so.

      You assert that Armistice Day was also used for statist propaganda. It would be surprising if that were not true. But it is also true that Armistice Day was used for sober reflection and regret. American public opinion turned against the war after it was over, and this led to the Neutrality Acts. That could not have happened if Armistice Day was devoted to praising the war.

      You assert that we are hostile to veterans, but you do not point to anything in the article where we express such hostility. Indeed, the point of the article is to prevent politicians from wasting soldiers’ lives. That sounds pro-soldier to me.

      You assert that veterans are not warmongers, and we agree once again. Nowhere in our article do we say otherwise. Indeed, all of our articles on the subject of war make a point to criticize the politicians who misuse the military, not the citizens who serve in the military.

      Your comment is angry and insulting. Hopefully, we will be able to have a more moderate conversation going forward.

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  7. Pingback: Happy Armistice Day | Kent's "Hooligan Libertarian" Blog

  8. I guess I hadn’t known this. Renaming it Veterans Day robs it of its true reason for existing. We also have Memorial Day, so calling it Veterans day is kind of a duplication of a holiday.
    It seems to me we should combine Veterans Day and Memorial Day and restore Armistice day to its rightful place.

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