Veterans' Day Cancelled in Berzerkley
Actually that sounds better
than the alternative:At issue was a proposal by the chairman, singer/songwriter Country Joe McDonald, to have Bill Mitchell, a co-founder of Cindy Sheehan's organization, Gold Star Families for Peace, as the keynote speaker.
Mitchell's and Sheehan's sons were killed in Iraq the same day.
Some committee members worried that Mitchell would inject an unwelcome note of partisanship into the event, which has been scrupulously non-political in years past.
"If you want to have an anti-war rally, count me in," said Linda Perry, an aide to City Councilman Laurie Capitelli. "But not on Veteran's Day. It's neither the time nor the place."
Edwin Harper, adjutant of the local Disabled American Veterans chapter, which has participated in past Berkeley Veterans Day observances, threatened that his group would pull out.
"They have the other 364 days and 23 hours to make their political point," he said. "This one hour should be reserved for honoring veterans, period."
McDonald, backed by other members of the committee, disagreed, saying that not permitting Mitchell to express his point of view would be tantamount to censoring free speech.
Sigh. I wish these folks would show some understanding of the meaning of "free speech". It does not mean that you get a microphone to spout off your nonsense.
And get this:This would have been Berkeley's fourth annual Veterans' Day ceremony, but the event has its origins in a memorial ceremony nine years ago, when McDonald and then-Mayor Shirley Dean sponsored a visit of the traveling Vietnam Wall - aka "The Wall That Heals" - to Berkeley.Fourth
annual? Most cities are holding their 52nd annual
Veterans' Day ceremony (prior to 1954 Veterans' Day was commonly known as Armistice Day, after the armistice that ended World War I).