It’s customary to remember the soldiers who died for our country. But I’m not one for custom, so on this day, I’d like to remember the peace and justice activists who died for our country.
One of the earliest field trips I remember from my childhood in Washington, DC was to the Arlington National Cemetery, just across the Potomac. I had never seen so many headstones, so many graves in my life. While America's leaders have led us into many unnecessary and imperial wars, it is the soldiers - men and women with flesh and blood - who are sent into the actual battles. They are the ones who often pay with their life.
There is one group of veterans that isn’t allowed to march in the national memorial parade in Washington on Monday.
That’s the Veterans for Peace, Delwin Anderson Memorial chapter, based in D.C. It’s named after a World War II vet who fought in Italy and then worked for the VA for many years designing programs for injured veterans.
The group had applied to join the National Memorial Day parade.
And initially, anyway, it was accepted.
But then, late last month, the group was told that it didn’t meet the criteria to participate.