Veteran’s Day and Militarism

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Veterans Day, 2015

Every American recognizes the contributions, and personal and family sacrifices of everyone who has served in the armed services. More than 22 million veterans are living.

Veterans Day started in 1918—as “Armistice Day, celebrating the end of the “War to End all Wars.” In 1961, President John F. Kennedy said:

“On this day of remembrance, let us pray in the name of those who have fought in this country’s wars, and most especially who have fought in the First World War and in the Second World War, that there will be no veterans of any further war — not because all shall have perished but because all shall have learned to live together in peace.”

It was a noble wish. In the years since Kennedy’s speech, thousands more have died and been wounded. There are at least four million living service-connected disabilities. Other statistics:

Military/Defense/Veterans: ~$760 Billion (27% of Federal Budget)
Cost of wars since 2001: ~$5 Trillion
Service in Iraq/Afghanistan: 2,700,000+
Active armed forces: 2,500,000
An outspoken critic of the American military interventions for decades is Blase Bonpane. A former Maryknoll priest who has been director of the Office of the Americas since 1983. In this archival video from 1991, Bonpane made the case for the U.S. as a militaristic society in an interview with Nancy Cain and Jody Procter. It was originally shown on THE 90’s series on PBS. At 86, Bonpane is still fighting for peace through his work writing books and on KPFK radio in Los Angeles.
For seven minutes of raw tape of Bonpane, go to



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