Anti-war group's application to participate in Veterans Day parade denied

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. - An anti-war group that has marched in the Binghamton Veterans Day Parade for more than a decade is being barred from participating this year.

This marks the second time since a new committee was formed to organize the parades that the group Broome County Veterans For Peace has had its application to participate denied.

The same committee rejected the group's application to march in the Memorial Day parade.

In an email to the group, committee member Clifford Post writes that the agenda of Veterans For Peace is inconsistent and distractive to the common purpose of the event which is to recognize and honor veterans of all wars.

VFP President Jack Gilroy says the original purpose of Veterans Day and its predecessor Armistice Day is to celebrate the end of war.

"Veterans Day is something more than just a glorification of war, which it seems to be very often.  But rather it's a call for peace. This was the original intent of Armistice Day, the 11th day, the 11th hour, the 11th month. That was back in 1918, the end of the war, and it was a celebration for peace," said Gilroy.

Back in May, members of Veterans For Peace still carried their banner along the parade route, following the police escort that brought up the rear.

Gilroy says the group will likely do the same on Veterans Day which is Saturday, November 11.

He also says his group is not afraid of the so-called Patriot Riders, a collection of bikers that Gilroy says has harassed and roughed up members of VFP in the past in an effort to intimidate them.

You can read the full text of Post's email to Veterans For Peace below.

From Clifford Post of the Parade Committee:

“Please refer to the attached reason that our committee has determined that you organization does not fit our stated purpose.

The Committee wishes to thank all the Veterans Day Parade participants who expressed their sincere desire to recognize and honor our Veterans of all Wars, through this event. 

The Committee believes it is imperative to demonstrate our support for that stated purpose as enacted by Congress in 1954 and by Presidential Proclamation that directed “In order to insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans' organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose.”

We recognize Veterans for Peace, a national non-profit organization, but not a Veterans Organization, is free to express their positions and opinions according to their stated purpose. 

However, after reviewing the positions, stated agenda and actions of their organization, we believe they are inconsistent and distractive relative to the common purpose of this event. 

As stated, we welcome all Veterans who support that common purpose. As an organization, we recognize VFP is afforded the same opportunity to organize their own parade to demonstrate their stated purpose and agenda."


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