Sunday, May 11, 2008

Veterans Denied Rights By Veterans?

A recent press release from VFP DC:

Washington D.C. May 9, 2008

On April 14, 2008 Veterans For Peace, Delwin Anderson Memorial chapter of Washington D.C. was officially accepted to join the National Memorial Day parade on May 26, 2008.
On April 28 Veterans For Peace received notice that the organization did not meet the criteria to participate. This notice was sent by the American Veterans Center which is the organizer for the parade.

The parade director's revocation of Veterans For Peace participation stated "Unfortunately, we cannot have elements in the parade that have any type of political message or wish to promote a viewpoint." Veterans For Peace responded with a request for reconsideration because there was no agenda for presenting any type of political message or viewpoint. Veterans For Peace has not received any further communication from the parade director or the American Veterans Center.

This chapter has lost three WWII members since July 2007 and there are not many parades left for the two survivors to join. Plans were made to have the WWII veterans and Mrs. Delwin Anderson ride in a convertible and VFP members would march in the front and rear of the convertible with VFP and American flags. It is difficult to express their disappointment.

Veterans For Peace chapters throughout America have been receiving similar treatment from other parade organizers especially this past Veterans Day. Veterans For Peace does not accept veterans trying to keep other veterans from being seen in public. It is in the public interest to be aware that veterans who once took an oath to support and defend the Constitution are participating in efforts to deny their fellow veterans rights that are accorded to us all.

Since 2006 the Delwin Anderson chapter of Veterans For Peace has grown in number and participated in a number of local public events in Virginia including the Prince William County Fair, the Vienna Halloween parade, the Fall For Fairfax festivals and the Vienna Memorial Day weekend festivals. On Veterans Day 2007 the chapter was invited to the Kennedy Center by the Washington Chorus and the occasion was used to officially name the chapter the Delwin Anderson Memorial Chapter. The chapter has also been featured in the Washington Post and local media publications and broadcasts. Veterans For Peace is always warmly accepted by the general public when it participates in mainstream events.

Why does it appear that fellow veterans are trying to block the public's view of Veterans For Peace? Maybe it only seems that way because the major sponsors of the parade include the Ross Perot Foundation, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, the nation of Kuwait, the U.S. Army and the National Rifle Association. If there is a political message in the parade, it comes from the American Veterans Center and not from Veterans For Peace. A closer look into the backgrounds of the staff at the American Veterans Center reveals a very politically oriented viewpoint built from the blood and bones of veterans.

The original acceptance letter and rejection notice are online at

Michael McPhearson
National Executive Director
Veterans For Peace
TEL: 314 725-6005

Michael Marceau
Vice President
Veterans For Peace
Delwin Anderson Memorial chapter
TEL: 301-542-9867

Anthony Teolis
Veterans For Peace
Delwin Anderson Memorial Chapter
TEL: 703-402-1763

Mackie Christenson
Parade Director
National Memorial Day Parade
Office: 703 302 1012 x 227
Cell: 703 350 0184