For Veteran’s Day, we reflect on the day’s origins as Armistice Day, which signified an end to the hostilities of World War I and made a path toward peace. On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918, the world signed an agreement and put the ‘war to end all wars’ behind them.
But what if we used the day, now dedicated to veterans who have served in subsequent wars, to remember that the point is not send more people off to war but to honor our veterans by bringing them home and spending our war dollars on real peace?
In 2009, the United States government spent some $650 billion on its military. This is more than the next 46 highest-spending countries combined. Much of this treasure ended up in the hands of profit-driven weapons manufacturers. In the following short film, I take a brief look at the current state of what President Eisenhower famously called the “military industrial complex.” With the U.S. waging two wars overseas at the same time that millions of people are out of work at home, those pushing to reel in government spending and balance the budget would be wise to look carefully at bloated and unchecked military spending.
It’s time to start questioning the motives behind war and keep pushing for peace. Let’s honor our veterans today by keeping our troops out of war tomorrow.
For information on how to promote peace and bring our war dollars home, see CODEPINK’s campaign to redirect war funding to public education, job creation, and rebuilding our economy at home.
You can also find out more about Global Exchange member, Iara Lee and Cultures of Resistance in her Global Exchange member profile.