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Announcement :: War and Militarism
A Remembrance Worthy Of The Day- A Memorial Day for Peace-Join The Smedley Butler Brigade-Veterans For Peace In Boston-May 28, 2012, 1:00 - 3:00 pm
16 May 2012
Memorial Day For Peace Event Sponsored by Smedley Butler VFP Chapter And Others .
A Remembrance Worthy Of The Day- A Memorial Day for Peace-Join The Smedley Butler Brigade-Veterans For Peace In Boston-May 28, 2012, 1:00 - 3:00 pm

Link to the Smedley Butler Brigade VFP Facebook page.!/smedleyvfp

To The Fallen-In Lieu Of A Letter

The mere mention of the name Veterans For Peace evokes images of hard-bitten ex-servicemen and women, many old, ramrod straight holding their beloved black and white peace dove-emblazoned banners flying proudly in all weathers. Of urgent and militant calls for withdrawal of American military personnel from conflicts somewhere in the bewildering number of places that this government has planted its forces. And of relentless exposure of the thousand and one ways that this government (and not just this government) tries to hide its atrocities against overwhelmed opponents and the innocent civilians who get caught up in the juggernaut. Those exercises of our democratic and moral obligations are what drive us most days but I want to put politics aside this day, or put them aside at least long enough to speak of another role that we have taken on over the past several years here in Boston on Memorial Day, a day of remembrance for our fallen.

Others can address, and eloquently, the origins and purposes of the day, a task that usually would come easily to this writer. Others will throw symbolic flowers into our beloved homeland the sea to give somber recognition to the fallen of current conflicts. Still others in other commemorations can, and will, speak of valor, honor, duty and unquestioned obedience to orders accompanied by the far-away tattoo of drums, the echo of the distant roar of cannon, cannon headed to some unmarked destination, and the whish and whirl as an unseen overhead airplane unloads it sacrilegious payload.

Today I choose though to speak of long ago but not forgotten personal remembrance, and to give name to that remembrance. To give name, James Earl Jenkins, old North Quincy rough-house Irish neighborhoods friend and fellow of many boyhood adventures not all fit for public mention, a name now blood-stone etched in black marble down in Washington, D.C. To give name, Kenneth Edward Johnson, my brother and James’ friend also, a name not etched in black stone but a causality of war nevertheless who, despite his fervent desire, “never made it back to the real world” and spent his shortened lonely life reliving the past.

James and Kenneth, what happened to each of them and why, take on special meaning today as I utter their names publicly from the misty past for the first time in a long time because those names link to those we remember today. Not just those, like James, who served under whatever conditions and for whatever personal reasons, those seem beside the point just now, or like my brother, those who do not show up in any official casuality report but all those nevertheless damaged by the close-hand experience of war.

But enough of this, as it only brings another saddened tear. But, as well, enough of war.

<b>Memorial Day for Peace

May 28, 2012, 1:00 - 3:00 pm

Christopher Columbus Park, Boston, Massachusetts
(near the Long Wharf Marriott on the waterfront - Aquarium stop on the MBTA Blue Line and a short walk from Haymarket on the Orange Line)

Please join us
Please join Veterans For Peace, Smedley Butler Brigade, Chapter 9 and Samantha Smith, Chapter 45, Military Families Speak Out, Mass Peace Action, United for Justice with Peace as we commemorate Memorial Day on Monday May 28, 2012

There will be no parade, no marching band, no military equipment, no guns and drums, no Air Force fly-overs.

There will be veterans and supporters who have lost friends and loved ones. Veterans who know the horrors of war and the pain and anguish of loss. There will be friends and families of soldiers, remembering their loved ones. There will be Iraqi Refugees who have suffered terrible losses and will join with us as we remember and show respect for their loss.

There will be flowers dropped into the harbor for each fallen U.S. soldier from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Flowers will also be also be dropped into the harbor remembering the loss of Iraqi family and friends.

Additional information will follow
as the program is finalized

This work is in the public domain
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