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Page 12
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Veterans Day Thoughts

By Jim Murphy

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Veterans Day Nov. 11th in Ithaca, NY Finger Lakes Veterans Peace Coalition. JOIN US!

Most of us here do not actively participate on this date. Veterans day is loaded with "Thank you for your service and references to saving our country." I think we all know better. We do have our own Tompkins/Ithaca Memorial Day Rite with Pete and Woodie songs and our poetry (Warrior Writers) while also hearing remembrances from Vets and families.

But this year for Veterans Day, we will be passing flyers for "R.I.P. Medical Debt" aimed directly at VETERANS. As medical costs rise to unspeakable levels, so does un-payable medical debt. Our goal is to create awareness that the problem of medical debt owned by veterans can be ended by the passage of the New York Health Act.

Meanwhile we want to publicize that giving to CureVetDebt.org will support a buyback and cancellation of existing Vet Debt in New York. For local Finger Lakes contacts, email me.

Also, check out these resources:

It has been a long strange journey for VVAW. Winter Soldier, Dewey Canyon III, and countless demonstrations. Camping out at Valley Forge in December of 1971 was my finest remembrance. 15 of us took over the Statue Of Liberty on December 26. <https://www.nytimes.com/1971/12/29/archives/15-veterans-leave-the-statue-of-liberty-claiming-a-victory-in.html>

"…Tim MacCormick of New Jersey and fourteen other members of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War, on the afternoon of December 26, 1971, arrived on Liberty Island by the Circle Line boat along with other tourists. But, when the last return ship to Manhattan sailed that evening, the veterans were not aboard. Instead, just before closing time, they hid among the exhibit partitions, building materials, and storage closets which were lying about the monument's base while work was being finished on the American Museum of Immigration. When NPS personnel made their 7:30 evening check-up of the statue, they found that the veterans had seized control of the landmark and barricaded the three ground floor entrances. The men inside refused to speak to or admit any Park Service people, but on the door they posted a typewritten statement addressed to President Richard M. Nixon:

Each Vietnam veteran who has barricaded himself within this international symbol of liberty has for many years rationalized his attitude to war. . . .We can no longer tolerate the war in Southeast Asia. . . .Mr. Nixon, you set the date [for leaving Vietnam], we'll evacuate."

My four member team from Maryland was wonderful, Mike Parker (RIP), Bob, Steve and myself. Listen up! 2021, we need to return to have a cup of coffee at the Statue … AND to bring coffee to the Liberty Staff for what we pilfered while we were "in the house."

A little research and a tip of the helmet liner to Jan Barry, Ray Grodecki, Gene Halpern, Bob Clarke (these three were the creative minds); Jim Murphy, Steve Juli, Bob Barracca and Mike Parker (Maryland/D.C.), Daev Shafran, Bill Garvin, Andy Mellor (CT.), Tim Holmes Tim McCormack, Don Carrico (MA), Paul Fichter, and Lou Pichinson.

Love you all.

Jim Murphy, Ithaca/Finger Lakes Peace Coalition, VVAW (since '71), VFP. Warrior Writers and lover of T-Burg Combat Paper.
You can contact him at murphyvetsfor@gmail.com.

<< 11. Memorial Day 2019 13. Carnage and Guilt >>