BINGHAMTON, NY – Today’s parade processed past a very visual reminder of the great casualties of war.
For the 3rd consecutive year, members of Broome County Veterans For Peace and Peace Action erected a symbolic cemetery to demonstrate the large toll on civilian lives that have resulted from American military interventions since World War 2.
It’s on the lawn of First Congregational Church at the corner of Main and Front Streets in Binghamton.
President of the local chapter of Veterans For Peace Jack Gilroy says 100 times as many foreign civilians have died as American service members during our fighting overseas.
“The main focus is really in opposition to war. War is not the answer. So, we don’t really say, ‘Thank you for your service.’ We say, ‘Thank you for trying to stop the violence. Thank you for trying to make this country and the world a more peaceful place,” says Gilroy.
Earlier today at 11 AM, the group rang the large bell outside of the church to mark Armistice Day, the original holiday that was celebrated on November 11th.
Armistice Day honored the moment when hostilities ended at the conclusion of World War 1, at 11 AM on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.
Gilroy says there was always a tradition of ringing bells at 11 on Armistice Day until the holiday was changed in 1954 to honor veterans.
Gilroy says Veterans For Peace is encouraging more people to return to celebrating Armistice Day rather than Veterans Day.