Veterans For Peace were excluded from the Veterans Day Parade
Below is a Letter to the Editor of the News & Observer. It was not published put a reporter, Martha Quillin, did contact its author, Wally Myers.
The Veterans For Peace applied to be in this year’s Veterans Day Parade. We were denied participation because our name was political. So our veterans group is excluded from the Veterans Day Parade because we stand for peace. Peace is political; but peace is a moral issue too. A lot of moral issues are political. Are we excluded from expressing our beliefs on moral issues because they are political? Does freedom of speech only apply to the non-political? Politics is not a four letter word; it’s how we decide things. Our exclusion for the Veterans Day Parade was political too. It was the politics of exclusion, a politics that seeks to silence alternative opinions.
Who are these people who exclude veterans from the Veterans Day Parade? Are they elected politicians or government employees? No, they’re a private entity, hired to manage this parade. Are they bound to uphold Freedom of Speech? This is the politics of privatization, where the public relinquishes responsibility to the private.
But we North Carolinians have turned a corner politically. We have seen the blindness of the politics of exclusion. We have felt the loss from the politics of privatization. We will consider alternative opinions and we will take responsibility for the public wellbeing. And perhaps next year all veterans will be included in the Veterans Day Parade. Perhaps next year it will be a peace parade.
As a result of the interview this article by Martha Quillin was published in The News & Observer.
Instead of marching in the parade without our banner for peace, we decided to leaflet the crowd with an alert about the health dangers of depleted uranium.