War loving veteran's day parade.
All vets are welcome, except those who oppose Bush's wars.
Organizers of the Denver Veteran's Day parade refused to allow several anti-war veteran groups to participate.
Even if you risked your life and made enormous sacrifices to serve, you better just shut up if you want to be recognized for it.
Iraq and Afghanistan vets were denied permission to participate in the Long Beach, California Veteran's Day parade as well. At least those who don't approve the "war".
A caption under a picture of a few anti-war vets:
James Dasinger, right, and Jason Lemieux, both members of Iraq Veterans Against the War, watch the 11th annual Long Beach Veterans Day Parade on Saturday. The group was not allowed to participate in the parade. Dasinger is an Air Force veteran and Lemieux is a Marine veteran.Another article on this story notes that Lemieux has served three tours of duty in Iraq.
From the article:
The groups on Saturday morning approached 9th District City Councilman Val Lerch, chairman of the parade committee, in a final effort to participate. Lerch, however, said the parade line-up was set for this year.
"They stood peacefully and honored our veterans," said Lerch, whose 9th District includes the parade route. "And I thank them very much for that."
WHAT THE HELL!!!!!?????? "...stood peacefully and honored our veterans." ???!!!!!!
They ARE veterans!
Can this idiotic statement be taken in any other way than to suggest that those who weren't allowed into the parade somehow aren't actual veterans? That they're not our veterans?
Those who are patriotic enough to try to stop something they know is wrong from first hand experience aren't "our veterans"?
Lerch should be horsewhipped.
UPDATE: Thanks to commenter Yinn for observing that apparently it's only acceptible for Veterans Day to be about the supposed glory of war, but never about the true cost of it.
In other words, a big fairy tale for the benefit of the public to foster and continue a state of mass denial about the horror and aftermath of war. How many more years can they live on the last just war, WWII?
ADDENDUM: Another article in the Press-Telegram which touches on some pro and con arguments on denying anti-war vets the chance to be recognized. There are some EXCELLENT comments left by readers which I recomend reading (click on the "share your comments" link below the article. The level of comments in Long Beach show just how shamefully ignorant and stupid online commenters in this area are for the most part.
Within the piece is a crucial bit of information could be easily overlooked. It turns out this parade was sponsored by Paramount Petroleum Corporation, which donated $10,000. Gee. But they'd never promote sending soldiers to their deaths to secure oil-rich territory.
This lends credence to the absurd notion that being anti-war is considered being "too political", while being pro-war isn't. Why?
The piece again contains an all too telling quote from Lerch.
"They voted unanimously to exclude a group, believing it had a political agenda," said Lerch, whose 9th District includes the parade route. "And I agree with the board's actions. For 11 years, this has been a parade to honor and support this nation."
The city did offer to set up a designated area near the parade, he said, where groups can stand and hold up signs.
"They can stand on the corner with signs all they want," said Lerch, a veteran who served 24 years with the U.S. Coast Guard. "They're not honoring those people by protesting."
Are those against this misguided and costly war "honoring those people"? I certainly think so, perhaps even more than those who excluded them.
The piece also notes an inarguable legal fact.
However, City Attorney Bob Shannon on Wednesday said the parade committee is a private, non-profit organization, and therefore reserves the right to choose its participants.Which doesn't make it any less a disgrace they decided to exclude any vets from a Veteran's Day parade.
This reminds me in a grim way of a classic from "The Simpsons" where Grandpa Simpson and other elderly vets sat at the bar and told lies about their war service at the VPW... the Veterans of Popular Wars.
ADDENDUM: One quarter of all homeless are Vets.