November 11, 2005
A Veterans Day Desecration
Veterans arrested for "trespassing" in a veterans cemetery?
Protesters led by a veterans post tried to remove a flag display placed by peace activists at a veterans cemetery, and five were charged with criminal trespass.
The display remained intact Friday, Veterans Day, despite a threat by at least one of the protesters to return later to finish yanking up the flags.
The display of 2,000 white flags, meant to remember U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq, was set up at Veterans Memorial Park cemetery Oct. 30 under a permit issued to Waterville Area Bridges for Peace and Justice.
Members of the local Veterans of Foreign Wars post complained, saying they wanted the flags removed before Veterans Day. The permit allows the flags to remain in place until the first snowfall.
On Thursday, about 10 people went to the cemetery and, under the glare of television camera lights, some began removing the flags as eight peace group members and sympathizers gathered nearby. Police moved in quickly to make the arrests.
Wayne Elkins, the VFW commander who led the protesters and was among those detained, said he had no problem with the peace group, as long as it stays out of the cemetery.
"They desecrated our veterans' grounds. If they want to protest, let them protest. We don't mind. But to desecrate hallowed ground is wrong," he said.
Waterville Maine must now be reasoned part of the "euro-zone". Too bad the vets weren't waiting for the "activists" as I'm sure they could have shown those clymers a more appropriate place to stick the white flags.
UPDATE: It appears that it was a memorial park as opposed to a cemetery according to the Ithaca Times....
Outraged veterans are calling for the removal of 2,000 white flags that members of a local peace group planted to commemorate America's war dead in Iraq. Calling the flags and signs in Veterans Memorial Park "a disgrace" and "illegal," veteran Wayne H. Elkins asked the city to revoke the group's permit.
Elkins, who served for a year in Vietnam and is station commander of Waterville's Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1285, said he had heard rumors that if the city didn't order Waterville Area Bridges for Peace and Justice to remove the flags before Veterans Day on Friday, veterans might take on the task themselves.
Nonetheless the disgraceful motives of WABFPJ remain the same. It's an oft used attempt by "activists" to promote their pacifist propaganda by exploiting our brave guys and the ultimate sacrifice they made. Does anyone think for one minute that these valiant men who lost their lives to protect us all would appreciate these puny minded zit farmers sticking white flags in a place specifically designated for their honor.
The VFW guys know what their fallen comrades would think and so do we. Put your damned white flags up, in your front yard, in the town square for all anyone cares but keep them the hell away from those venerable patches of ground we have chosen to remember the self sacrifice, courage and heroism of the best this great country has to offer.