FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 29, 2017
Susan Schnall, email@example.com, 917-620-0189
Michael McPhearson, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Barry Ladendorf, email@example.com, 619-997-2772
Veterans Oppose Trump Policies, Wars; Rally at Lincoln Memorial; March to White House
On Tuesday, May 30, at 11:00 am, veterans and supporters will mass at the Lincoln Memorial. Speakers include Veterans For Peace President Barry Ladendorf, Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Medea Benjamin, David Swanson, Chris Hedges, Jonathan Hutto, Brian Becker, Col. Ann Wright, Mara Verhayden Hilliard, Michael McPhearson, Matt Hoh, and Ray McGovern. Music will be provided by Lyla June Johnston, Pat Scanlon, Ariel Zevon, and the Fugs, who will lead an attempt to exorcise the White House as they did 50 years ago.
“Donald Trump and company are hell-bent on destroying what’s left of our democracy, the environment, and whatever chance we have of world peace. Veterans will not be silent while he does it,” says Matt Hoh, former Marine Captain (two tours in Iraq) and State Department official, who resigned in protest from his post in Afghanistan over U.S. strategic policy and goals.
Veterans For Peace President Barry Ladendorf has sent a letter to President Trump requesting a meeting to discuss military policy and to refocus spending on peace and issues at home. The letter said, in part:
“We speak for the majority of U.S. citizens, who believe your policies are taking innocent lives and endangering more of our young soldiers, who have already given so much in the needless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now you have sent more Marines into Syria. Your policies are also causing suffering and despair among immigrants, Muslims, communities of color, women, Native Americans, and LGBTQ communities, and if implemented, these policies will further destroy the environment. Ultimately, they make all of us considerably less secure.”
After the rally, veterans and allies will march down Constitution and Pennsylvania Avenues to the White House, where they will present a list of ten demands for peace at home and abroad.
On the Day Before, (Memorial Day, May 29) Veterans For Peace will gather for a solemn and respectful occasion to deliver letters at the Vietnam Memorial Wall and to remember all combatants** and civilians who died in Vietnam and all wars. We will mourn the tragic and preventable loss of life calling for people to abolish war in the name of those who have died and for the sake of all those who live today. The Swords to Plowshares Memorial Bell Tower has been set up within sight of the Lincoln Memorial and the Vietnam Memorial Wall. The Bell Tower has been visited by thousands as it has traveled around the country.
** Ray’s letter to a college friend, Capt. Edward Krukowski, USAF, shot down over Cambodia on October 24, 1964, is copy/pasted in below.
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Veterans For Peace is an international organization made up of military veterans, military family members and allies; accepting veteran members from all branches of service. Our networks are made up of over 120 chapters across the United States and abroad. We are dedicated to building a culture of peace, exposing the true costs of war, and healing the wounds of war.
** Letter to Ed Krukowski
May 27, 2017
This week, as Memorial Day draws near, I was writing an article about the 34 sailors of the USS Liberty who were deliberately killed by fire from Israeli aircraft and torpedo boats off the Sinai 50 years ago. My eye caught a name on a rubbing I made many years ago from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall: “Edward S. Krukowski.”
What fun we had at Fordham studying Russian together. Remember how our Moscovite Russian teacher, Mrs. Lindsay, used to yell at us when we acted up – and our uproarious laughter as she kept repeating: “What are you laughing? Who are you laughing? This is nothing to laugh!” (I’m glad no one broke our mutual pledge never to let her know that in English, “laugh” normally requires a preposition.)
Your heritage is Ukrainian, if memory serves, and I have been thinking about that amid the hostilities in Ukraine. I do hope that whatever extended family you have there is safe.
You were in the Air Force ROTC, while I was in the Army ROTC. You graduated and were commissioned in 1960, a year before I was. Just a few years later I vividly remember reading the sad notice:
“Capt. Edward Krukowski, USAF, was flying a C-123 on a resupply mission in Vietnam when shot down on Oct. 24, 1964, six days short of his 26th birthday, leaving a wife and three small children.”
I remember weeping with your widow and three small children at your wake, funeral, and burial in Arlington cemetery. You had planned for the worst, leaving a request to be buried within view of the grave of President John F. Kennedy, whom we both admired so much. That’s where your body lies today; it’s a direct-line view. They tucked your tombstone onto the end of a row with that view.
It is a good place to sit and think – with you at my back and President Kennedy in front. What Kennedy knew, but you didn’t, is that a year before you and your crew were killed, he had ordered a phased withdrawal of almost all U.S. troops from Vietnam. Many believe – including me – that this is one of the reasons he was assassinated.
On Memorial Day a few years ago, I wrote about you, and the article caught the attention of your son, Ed, the dentist in Florida. That put him in touch with me; it was a blessing to have a new, Ed Krukowski as a tangible reminder of my college buddy Ed – you.
In just two days, this year’s Memorial Day (May 29) falls on President Kennedy’s 100th birthday:
‘Don’t let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief shining moment that was known as Camelot.’
ПОКОЙСЯ С МИРОМ! до скорого,
Your old friend,