Saturday, November 15, 2008

Support Our Troops!

I went down to the National Gallery of Art early on this rainy Saturday morning to see the Oceans, Rivers, and Skies exhibit. Parked near the National Archives building and was amazed to see a huge banner that said, Defend Our Constitution Arrest Bush and Cheney War Criminals. Sadly, I had only my iPhone camera, so the pictures really don't do the banner justice.

Closer inspection revealed a number of folks up on the scaffolding and a group of men on the ground holding a flag that said, Veterans for Peace. The guys on the ground were really friendly, pointing out each of their comrades up on the scaffolding (who'd climbed up in the rain and fog to hang the banner) and noting in which war each had fought. While we were chatting, a guy walked by with his dog and asked, "How'd you get a permit to hang that?" One of the vets told him, "Oh, we've got a piece of paper that says we can hang it. It's inside and you can go see it when they open up. It's called the Constitution of the United States."

I asked them what they planned to do when they were ordered to take the banner down. They smiled and noted how slippery and wet the scaffolding was and said that they doubted any DC policemen would be willing to climb up there to cut it down. I noted a guard at the DoJ standing and smiling. Soon, the guard from inside the Archives came out, put up a sign about the exhibits inside, and walked away without a word. As I was leaving, a motorcade, including an ambulance, drove past. I sure do hope it was Cheney's.

The Veterans for Peace literature that they gave me says:

Members of Veterans for Peace (VFP) chose the Archives for their nonviolent protest because it is symbolic of their military oath th "defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic." In September they occupied the Archives for 24 hours and plan to stay longer this time.

. . .

The veterans are demanding [that the] Bush administration be tried for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and crimes against peace; asking the media to clearly inform the public of the administrations crimes, and encouraging citizens to take similar nonviolent actions

Here are the patriots who, once again, put their bodies on the line for the rule of law:

On the scaffold:

Elliott Adams, 61, former Army paratrooper, Viet Nam
Ellen Barfield, 52, former Army Sgt.
Kim Carlyle, 61, former Army Spec 5
Doug Zachary, 58, former USMC Lance Cpl.
Tarak Kauff, 67, former PFC, Army Airborne
Will Covert, 63, former E4 Navy
Elaine Brower, 54, mother of USMC Sgt. James Brower, on his third tour in Iraq
Matthis Chiroux, 24, Army Sergant, Served in Afghanistan, refused deployment to Iraq

Providing support on the ground:

Mike Ferner, 57, former Navy corpsman
Michelle White, 24, wife of Iraq war vet currently serving in Afghanistan
Michael Marceau, 58 former Army, Viet Nam
Bruce Berry, 62, former SPC 4 Army, Viet Nam
Fred Nagel, 65, former SPC 4 Army
Jay Wenk, 82, former rifleman, 90th Infantry Div. WWII
Anthony Teolis, 42, US Army Field Artillery, Gulf War

Founded in 1985, Veterans for Peace has 120 chapters throughout the country and has actively protested the Afghanistan and Iraq wars since their inception Membership includes men and women veterans of all eras and duty stations, spanning the Spanish Civil War, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq. VFP is an official Non Governmental Organization (NGO) represented at the UN. [More here.]

Military Families Speak Out is an organization of people opposed to the war in Iraq who have relatives or loved ones currently in the military or in the military since the fall of 2002.

Thank you, guys.


VforVirginia said...


Makes me proud of my country.

Ali said...


Diane said...

Now that restores a little more of my faith in this country.

We just make it, especially with people like those listed in your post.

Thanks, Hecate.

Oh, and the pics are just fine.

shrimplate said...

I would like to say "good work" to those gentlemen.

Libby Spencer said...

Now THAT is what democracy looks like. Love it. Great journalism Hecate.

Rowan said...

That brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for sharing it.

Chris Tucker said...

Well Done, Gentlemen and Ladies!

Very Well Done, indeed!

mto3 said...

Excellent work, Vets.

Michael C said...

Thank you so much! What a wonderful story. Blessings on you and them.

Nell said...

A million thanks for this picture, which brings my thoughts to life.

Glad you were in the right place at the right time.

Anonymous said...


And so do they.

Vets from WWII to Iraq II/Bush 43.

Love it.