Memorial Day 2012
Arlington West Santa Monica Memorial Day
Join us this Memorial Day weekend at the Human Cost of War Memorial
This Memorial Day we will once again remember and reflect upon all Americans who've lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. To date, the United States has sacrificed (officially acknowledged) 4,486 of its military personnel in its war and occupation of Iraq, not counting those lost to the war and occupation of Afghanistan.
We will also reflect upon and remember all US military personnel who've committed suicide, often times due to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. We reflect upon the inadequate and all too often total absence of help our military personnel are faced with both in and out of military service and of the insistence of the US military to over rely on perscription drugs as a form of treatment.
Rather than address the root cause of the high rate of suicide among military personnel - that being military conditioning to accept the carnage and violence of war as acceptable and healthy to defend the American Way Of Life - the military's response is to sedate them with psychotropic medications and simply re-deploy them into combat.
That there have been thousands (upwards of 1 million or more by some statistics) of innocent people who've lost their lives in the violence of the invasion and occupation is without question. As Veterans For Peace, we also acknowledge there are innocent people on the receiving end of our benevolent bombings that did not live to experience the liberty and freedom we brought with them.
As Veterans For Peace and at Arlington West, we acknowledge we are not worth more; they are not worth less. They, too, shall be remembered over this year's Memorial Day observations. As Leah Bolger, National President of Veterans For Peace, aply states:
On this Memorial Day, Veterans For Peace asks you to mourn not only for Americans killed in battle, but also for those killed by Americans in battle. We ask you to be willing to accept the fact that these war deaths did not have to happen—that they are actually in vain. Hundreds of thousands of innocent people have died in American wars of aggression. That is a tragedy and is a truth that must be accepted and for which we must take responsibility.
Weather permitting, we will set up the memorial beginning on Saturday, May 26th at 8am with a candle light vigil placed at the base of each marker at dusk on Sunday. Take down of the memorial will commence of Monday, May 28th around 3pm. The public is welcome to volunteer for set up and or take down. Please introduce yourself at the information table for guidance on procedures and protocols observed within the memorial and its artifacts.
(Note: Leah Bolger spent 20 years on active duty in the U.S. Navy and retired in 2000 at the rank of Commander. She is currently a full-time peace activist and serves as the National President of Veterans For Peace.)
Mission Statement of Arlington West Memorial
- To remember the fallen and wounded
- To acknowledge the human cost of war
- To provide a place to grieve
- To encourage dialogue among people with varied points of view
- Educate the public about the needs of those returning from war
Veterans For Peace Statement of Purpose
We, having dutifully served our nation, do hereby affirm our greater responsibility to serve the cause of world peace. To this end we will work, with others:
- To increasing public awareness of the costs of war.
- To restrain our government from intervening, overtly and covertly, in the internal affairs of other nations
- To end the arms race and to reduce and eventually eliminate nuclear weapons
- To seek justice for veterans and victims of war
- To abolish war as an instrument of national policy.
To achieve these goals, members of Veterans For Peace pledge to use non-violent means and to maintain an organization that is both democratic and open with the understanding that all members are trusted to act in the best interests of the group for the larger purpose of world peace.
HOW TO JOIN VETERANS FOR PEACE
Veterans For Peace is a national with local chapters throughout the country as well as in a few countries outside of the United States.
You do not need to be a veteran in order to join Veterans For Peace, nor do you need to be a member of Veterans For Peace in order to volunteer on the Arlington West project. We do, however, invite all who embrace our vision and Statement of Purpose to join us.
If you ARE a veteran or are currently serving on active duty, you might consider joining Veterans For Peace. If you are on active duty, there is nothing in the regulations that prohibit your voluntary membership in this organization. For more information on your rights under the UCMJ, see our Active Duty Resources page here.
If you are NOT a veteran, you can join Veterans For Peace by becoming an Associate Member. Simply follow Step 1 below, fill out the application, and send that along with your Associate Member contribution to the national Veterans For Peace mailing address shown below. You may also join online by going to the national Veterans For Peace web site.
Follow steps 1-3 below to become a member of Veterans For Peace:
Step 1: Download the VFP Membership application here.
Step 2: A copy of your DD-214 is required for membership.
HOW TO OBTAIN A COPY OF YOUR DD-214
Don't have a copy of your military discharge documents?
Please visit the National Personnel Records Center web site here to obtain one.
Step 3: Send your VFP Membership application along with a copy of your DD-214 military discharge paper or proof of active duty service via regular mail to the national office of Veterans For Peace along or send it to our local office and we'll send it for you.
All Veterans for Peace Local Chapters are joined through the national office at:
National Veterans For Peace Office & Web Site
Veterans For Peace
216 South Meramec Ave
St. Louis MO 63105
Tel: (314) 725-6005
FAX (314) 725-7103
Web site: www.veteransforpeace.org
Find local VFP Chapters in your city or State here:
VFP- Los Angeles Email List
For ongoing information and discussions about the Veterans for Peace and its Statement of Purpose, as well as the Arlington West project, please join our public mailing list. It's free and easy to subscribe. You can also unsubscribe any time you choose.
You do not become a member of Veterans For Peace by subscribing to this email list, nor are you required to be a member of Veterans For Peace. If you would like to join Veterans For Peace, see information shown above.
Read how to subscribe to the VFP-LA email list here.
Please visit our brothers and sisters over there at Iraq Veterans Against the War.
ARLINGTON WEST IS
A NON-PROFIT, NON-PARTISAN & NON-SECTARIAN
PROJECT OF VETERANS FOR PEACE
Changing the World Begins With You
Career US Army soldier asks,
“Why am I carrying an M-16
in the Garden of Eden?”