Monday, March 10, 2014

Massachusetts Peace Communities Statement of Support for VFP Inclusion in St. Patrick's Day Parade

Massachusetts Peace Communities Statement of Support
for Veterans for Peace inclusion in St. Patrick’s Day Parade

We the undersigned represent a number of peace organizations across the religious spectrum, interfaith and ecumenical, who wish to express our deep concern about the grave injustice, disrespect and clear discrimination against veterans who are voices of peace, through their exclusion from Veterans for Peace from Boston’s Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade.  

It is our conviction that the history of such exclusion in Boston is based on secular and political maneuvering.  Such posturing prevents our veterans from expressing the ravages and trauma of war and their collective statement about their experiences and wounds, both physical and mental, in a public forum such as the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, meant, ironically, to honor veterans.  Visible reminders of the scourge of war such as members of Veterans for Peace bring to the public forum are consistent with our work as peacemakers in our war-addicted society.

We are aware that The Saint Patrick’s Peace Parade is currently mired in a debate about the exclusion of LGBT sisters and brothers from the main St. Patrick’s Day Parade. 

As communities of peace, we wish to make a clear and consistent statement of support of our veterans, across the gender spectrum, as peacemakers whose civil rights are violated, and who by turning from war, characterize a conversion from killing, to peacemaking, honored by all faith traditions. 

We note that St. Patrick, the Irish Catholic saint, after whom this parade is named, renounced war emphatically when he said in his writings:  “Killing Cannot Be of Christ.”

The Boston Chapter of Veterans for Peace, known as the Smedley D. Butler Brigade, is part of a national veterans’ organization of the same name with 140 chapters around the country, members from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War, Iraq and Afghanistan.

For the past ten years, members of Veterans for Peace have attempted to walk in the St. Partrick’s Day Parade, and in 2011, they were denied participation by the parade organizers, one of whom stated:  “We do not want to have the word peace associated with the word veteran.”

We echo and support the words of Veteran for Peace, Tony Flaherty, LT, USN, Ret. of WWII, a member of the Boston Chapter, and one of its most eloquent spokespersons as an Irish Catholic who has renounced war, spent his entire life in South Boston, and who recently penned the following words to Mayor Walsh of Boston:

“Vets for Peace has been banned, simply for advocating peace and a dedication to offering our children a message that war is not the answer at spectacles glorifying militarism since 2003 (invasion of Iraq) and since initiating the Peace Parade in 2011, have been subjected to insult and calculated obstruction in which City Hall has been complicit.…”

Peace Parade key organizer, Pat Scanlon, a decorated Vietnam Veteran, comments that veterans experience this obstruction as an insult, especially, “to those of us who have experienced the horrors of war and know the real cost of war.” 

Veterans, some in their eighties, have waited for hours in the blazing sun, to march after street cleaners and other public employees finish their post-parade obfuscating and deliberate degradation of impact—under the guise of cleanup.  They are greeted, sometimes with applause, often with jeers and sullen stares, by the handful of dwindling numbers of parade participants.   A court order has altered these delay tactics, but the exclusion remains.

Veterans for Peace have clearly stated their desire: “One parade, welcoming and inclusive of any group.”

We representatives of Peacemaking Communities in Massachusetts want to make clear our support of the Veterans for Peace and our desire:

It is our desire to make visible to the wider community, the black and white flags carried by the Veterans for Peace, heralding their rejection of war. 

We wish to make visible the nobility of the nonviolent tradition through the centuries, carried by great American peacemakers: Lucretia Mott, George Fox, John Woolman, Martin Luther King Jr., Dorothy Day, Daniel and Philip Berrigan, Sr. Megan Rice, Howard Zinn and the countless numbers of the great cloud of witnesses who live on nationally and internationally, across the faith spectrum.

We the undersigned peace communities and individual peacemakers represent the voices of hundreds, if not thousands of our peacemaking brothers and sisters, who are appalled by the blatant disregard for the movement of conscience, the display of courage and nonviolence embodied in the lives of our brother and sister Veterans for Peace.
Signees for Mass Peace Communities Statement of Support for

Veterans for Peace inclusion in St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Sunday March 16th at 1:00pm in Boston, MA

1.            Arun Gandhi (grandson of Mahatma Gandhi), Gandhi Institute, Rochester, NY  
2.            Patrick Tracy, Director of Campus Ministry, St. Joseph’s College, Patehogue, NY
3.            David O’Brien, Worcester, MA
4.            Jeanne O’Brien, Worcester, MA
5.            Walter Cuenin, Chaplain, Brandeis University
6.            St. Susanna Parish Peace & Justice Committee (Pastor: Fr. Steve Josoma, Chairs: Pat Ferrone, Maureen Hearn, Sally Gould, Fr. Bin Kremmell)
7.            Patricia McSweeney, Taunton, MA
8.            John Schuchardt, House of Peace, Ipswich, MA
9.            Carrie Schuchardt, House of Peace, Ipswich, MA
10.       Peace and Social Concerns Committee of the Friends Meeting at Cambridge
11.        Patricia Kirkpatrick
12.        Justin Duffy
13.        Maureen Hearn, Needham, MA
14.        Rev. Molly Buskette, Lead Pastor, First Church, Somerville
15.        Bill Gural
16.        Rev. Anne Bancroft, Consulting Minister, Universalist Church of Weymouth
17.        Marie Ebacher, Worcester, MA
18.        Rev. Maddie Sifantus, Unitarian Universalist Church of Wakefield, First Unitarian Universalist Church of Milford
19.        Rev. Kim K. Crawford-Harvie, Senior Minister, Arlington Street Church, Unitarian Universalist, Boston
20.       Dick Kirk
21.        Deborah Kirk
22.       David Kay-Webster
23.       Erica Kay-Webster
24.       Severyn Bruyn
25.       Rev. David M. Bryce, Senior Minister, The First Church in Belmont, Unitarian Universalist
26.       Rev. Wendy von Zirpolo
27.        Maryellen Kurkulos, Bridget for All Southcoast, Fall River, MA
28.       Agape Community Mission Council, Hardwick, MA
29.       Teresa Wheeler, Worcester, MA
30.       John Paul Marosy,Worcester, MA
31.        Bob Wegener, Quincy, MA
32.       Alden Poole, Quincy, MA
33.       Janet Poole, Quincy, MA
34.       Catholic Deacon Bill Toller
35.       Rev. Dr. Dorothy May Emerson
36.       Arthur Roberts
37.        Barbara Roberts
38.       Rev. Susan A. Moran, Unitarian Universalist Society of Rockport
39.       Rev. Bruce Taylor, Minister of First Parish Billerica
40.       Hazel Dardano
41.        Skip Schiel
42.       Paul McNeil
43.       Rich Bachtold
44.       Suzanne Shanley
45.       Brayton Shanley
46.       Rev. Diane Miller, Unitarian Universalist Minister, Carlisle, MA
47.        Edmund K. Summersby, Cambridge, MA
48.       Professor Judith Phaqun, Saint Joseph College, Long Island
49.       Catie Scudera, Intern Minister, Arlington St. Church, Unitarian Universalist, Boston, MA
50.       Rev. Dr. Victoria Weinstein, Lynn, MA
51.        Kevin & Joyce Lucey, Proud parents of Cpl. Jeffrey Michael Lucey, Forever 23 years old. Succumbed to the Hidden Wounds of War, March 18, 1981 – June 22, 2004
52.       Debbie Lucey, Proud sister of Cpl. Jeffrey Michael Lucey, a 23 year old forever, Succumbed to the Hidden Wounds of War, March 18, 1981 – June 22, 2004
53.       Joseph Miller
54.       Beryl
55.       Dr. Robert Emmet Morris, USN/USMC Vietnam 1969-1970, International Health Consultant, South Boston Residents for Peace
56.       Howard Hayward
57.        Rev. Meg Soens
58.       Rev. John Gibbons, First Parish, Bedford, MA
59.       Rev. Art McDonald, PhD., Minister, Unitarian Universalist Church of Essex
60.       Bobbie Goldman, Merrimack Valley People for Peace
61.        Barbara Corbett-Flavin
62.       Pat Ferrone, Regional Coordinator of Pax Christi MA
63.       Nancy C. Arthur
64.       Justin Rocha, Occupy Fall River
65.       Rev. Rebecca Froom, Assistant Minister, First Universalist Society, Franklin, MA
66.       Caroline Cole, Merrimack Valley People for Peace
67.        Boryana A. Tacconi, Merrimack Valley People for Peace
68.       Sr. Katie Flaherty, South Boston Residents for  Peace
69.       Rev. Amy Freedman, Consulting Minister, Unitarian Universalist First Church in Boston
70.       Jeff Klein, Dorchester People for Peace
71.        Linda Jacobs
72.        James Roy
73.        Dee Halzack, Lowell, MA
74.        Jane Cadarette, Merrimack Valley People for Peace
75.        Rev. Ralph Galen, Transformative Justice and Violence Prevention Ministry
76.        JA Canonico, N. Chelmsford, MA
77.        Dr. Thomas Lee, Goffstown, NH
78.        Eileen Lee, Goffstown, NH
79.        Beth Elliott, Gilbertville, MA
80.       Rev. Dr. Judith Wright, Unitarian Universalist Minister, Northborough, MA
81.        Lou Bernieri, Merrimack Valley People for Peace
82.       Dudley Hartung, Veterans for Peace
83.       Chris Astephen, Stonehill College
84.       Rev. M. Lara Hoke, Consulting Minister, Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Andover, MA
85.       Rev. Wendy L. Bell, Harvard Unitarian Universalist Church
86.       Dan Philip
87.        Diana E Philip
88.       Rev. Harold H. Babcock, First Religious Society Unitarian Universalist, Newburyport, MA
89.       Jean Doran, Clarksville, TN
90.       Rev. Judy Deutsch
91.        Faye George, Bridgewater, MA
92.       Rev. Dr. Michelle Walsh, Tuckerman Creative Ministries for Justice & Healing
93.       Brenda McCarthy, N. Andover, MA
94.       Randy Kehler, New England War Tax Resistors, Colrain, MA
95.       Betsy Corner, New England War Tax Resistors, Colrain, MA
96.       Eleanor Maclellan RSCJ, Agape Mission Council
97.        Gayle Aroian, Barre, MA
98.       Bob Aroian, Barre, MA
99.       Brian Quirk, Merrimack Valley People for Peace
100.  Rachel Ravina, Boston University Graduate School
101.   Rev. Clyde Grubbs, Tuckerman Creative Ministries for Justice & Healing
102.   Teresa Shanley, Seabrook, NH
103.   Patricia Hynes, Traprock Center for Peace and Education at Greenfield Community College
104.   Annie Wuelfing, Spencer, MA
105.   Michael True, Professor Emeritus. Assumption College, Worcester, MA
106.   David Gill SJ, Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley, CA
107.   Claire Schaeffer Duffy, Saint Therese and Saint Francis Catholic Worker House, Worcester, MA
108.   Scott Schaeffer Duffy, Saint Therese and Saint Francis Catholic Worker House, Worcester, MA
109.   Philip L Milgrom, The Centered Place, Warren, MA
110.   Nancy A. Nowak
111.    Deacon Kevin McCarthy, Blessed Sacrament/All Souls Parish, Springfield, MA
112.    Donna Marosy, Worcester, MA
113.    Pax Christi, Boston, MA
114.    Beth Ingham, Noonday Farm, Winchendon, MA
115.    Bob Jennings, Noonday Farm, Winchendon, MA
116.    Carolyn Whiting, Merrimack Valley People for Peace, Reading People for Peace
117.    Ann Grady, St. Mary of the Angels Parish, Roxbury, MA
118.    Fr. John Patrick Sullivan, LaSalette Pax Christi National Shrine, Our Lady of LaSallette
119.    Rev. Katie Lee Crane, Interim Minister, First Parish Unitarian Universalist in Needham, MA
120.   Karen Hinchen, St. Mary of the Angels Parish, Roxbury
121.    David Hinchen, St. Mary of the Angels Parish, Roxbury
122.   Courtney Schlosser, Barre, MA
123.   Sue Coles, Barre MA
124.   Merrimack Valley People for Peace
125.   Pax Christi MA Board (Pat Ferrone, Chair, Mike Moran, Sally Markey, Jeanne Allen, Sue Malone, Brian Ashmankas, Irene Desharnais, Nancy Carapezza, Ron Holman, Jeanelle Wheeler)
126.   Swanna Champlin, L’Arche Irenicon, Haverhill, MA
127.    Larry & Leah Shea, Quincy, MA
128.   Kitty Vallely and Joe Vallely, St. Mary of the Angels Parish, Roxbury
129.   Eileen Gorman, St. Susanna's Peace and Justice Committee
130.   Judith Rich, Pax Christi MA
131.    Cole Harrison, Mass Peace Action
132.   Rev. MaryHelen Gunn, Spiritual Advisor, Unitarian Universalist, Center for Spirituality, Dialogue, and Service, Northeastern University, Boston, MA
133.   Nanette Eckert
134.   Rabbi Joseph Berman, Jewish Voice for Peace Boston Co-Chair
135.   Edward Downes, PhD, Agape Community
136.   Eileen Reilly, MD, Agape Community
137.    Jeff Brummer, Jamaica Plain
138.   Alan O’Hare, Life Story Theatre
139.   Kay Walsh, Dorchester, MA  Neponset
140.   Melida Arredondo, Gold Star Stepmother to Lcpl. Alex Arredondo 1984-2004 & the late Brian Arredondo 1987-2011
141.    Carlos Arredondo, Gold Star Dad to Lcpl. Alex Arredondo 1984-2004 & the late Brian Arredondo 1987-2011
142.   Jeff Merrick, Military Families Speak Out
143.   Pat Alviso, Military Families Speak Out
144.   Pax Christi MetroWest (Charles Gobron, Fr. Rocco Puopolo, Nancy Carapezza, Louise Bolles, Faith Madzar)
145.   Yvette Bellerose
146.   Peter Wuelfing, Spencer, MA
147.    Fr. Robert D. Bruso, Pastor, St. Anthony Parish, Fitchburg, MA
148.   Dave Ascher, Newton Dialogues on Peace and War
149.   Carol Proietti
150.   Shirley H. Young
151.    Rev. David J. Miller, Unitarian Universalist, Holden MA
152.   Octavia Taylor. New Braintree, MA
153.   Christina Abbey, Pax Christi Boston
154.   Louis Abbey, Pax Christi Boston
155.   Alice Kast, Pax Christi Boston
156.   Cornelia Sullivan, Pax Christi Boston
157.    Susan Harden, Pax Christi Boston
158.   George Payne, Gandhi Institute Rochester, NY 
159.   Suzanne Ewing, Pax Christi USA  
160.   Burke Oppeneheim, Stonehill College 
161.    Prithak Chowdhony, Stonehill College 
162.   Lauren Ireland, Stonehill College 
163.   Katherine Bryer, Stonehill College 
164.   Peter Croke, Stonehill College 
165.   Matthew Crawford, Stonehill College 
166.   Meghan DeCarvalho, Stonehill College 
167.    Melissa Mardo, Stonehill College 
168.   Micah James, Case Western Reserve University 
169.   Hayden Abene, Case Western Reserve University 
170.   Joseph Swanson, Case Western   Reserve University 
171.    Newton Dialogues on Peace and War 
172.    Rev. Edwin A. Lane, Minister Emeritus, First Parish in Waltham  
173.    Linda Davis, Needham 
174.    Andrew Larkin, MD, Northampton, MA
175.    Hilda Carey RSCJ, Cambridge, MA 
176.    Nancy Kehoe RSCJ, Boston, MA 
177.    Emily Jendzejec, Creatively Maladjusted, Boston, MA 
178.    Bennett Comerford, Creatively Maladjusted Boston, MA
179.    Maine Voices for Palestinian Rights
180.   Anne Johnson, Sacred Heart St. Dominic Parish (Portland, Maine) Social Justice and Peace Commission member
181.    Erik Johnson, Sacred Heart St. Dominic Parish (Portland, Maine) Social Justice and Peace Commission member 
182.   Kathleen Connelly Legg, Auburn, MA  
183.   Emily Ferrara, Worcester, MA
184.   Pam DiDente, St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Bend, Oregon 
185.   Tom DiDente, St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Bend Oregon
186.   Mariann Burke 
187.    Maria Wessman-Conroy, Creatively Maladjusted, Boston MA  
188.   Patricia Reid, RSCJ
189.   Robert Bowers, Quincy, MA 
190.   Roy Bourgeois, SOA Watch, Viet Nam Vet, Navy
191.    Susan Regan, Psy.D.
192.   Veronica O'Brien, Long Island
193.   Better Future Project, Cambridge, MA
194.   David Bonner, Lexington, MA
195.   Jeffrey K. Boudreau, USCG (E6), Arlington, MA 
196.   Eva Moseley, Mass. Peace Action (Cambridge)
197.    Tim Corrigan, Boston, Catholic Worker, Warrior Writers
198.   Rev. Erin Splaine, Senior Minister, The First Unitarian Society in Newton
199.   Winston Bolton, Halifax, MA
200.  Dr. Steve James, Limbe, Haiti
201.   Nancy James, Limbe Haiti
202.  Lee Rule, Burnsville, NC
203.  Kirsten Rule, Burnsville NC
204.  Asia Heller, Asheville, NC
205.  Luke Heller, Asheville, NC 
206.  Mimi Swinger, Asheville, NC 
207.   John Swinger, Asheville, NC 
208.  Carrie James Tibbits, Celo, NC 
209.  Matthew Tibbits, Celo NC 
210.   Lloyd James, Audobon, PA 
211.    David James, Audobon, PA
212.   Jackie Wattenberg,  Melrose
213.   Nancy Lee Wood, Taunton
214.   Ed Kinane, Syracuse
215.   Ann Tiffany,  Syracuse
216.   John Amidon, Albany
217.    Haley Abene, Clayton, NC
218.   Micalita Shatswell 
219.   Sr. Megan Rice
220.  Greg Boertje-Obed
221.   Michael Walli 
222.   Kathleen Murphy
223.   Sr. Teresa Mee, Dublin
224.   Caroline Burwell
225.   Eric Martinez
226.   Sam Kielwein 
227.   Jack Gilroy, Binghamton, NY
228.   Judy Homanich, Binghamton, NY
229.   George Homanich, Binghamton, NY
230.  Constance Preston Scanlon, Andover, MA
231.   Christopher Doucot, Catholic Worker, Hartford, CT
232.   Jackie Allen, Catholic Worker, Hartford, CT
233.   Richard Hudak, Andover, MA
234.   Nancy Mulvey, Andover, MA
235.   David Grober, Andover, MA
236.   Lissa Stuart, Wayland, MA
237.   Ray Mack, West Bridgewater, MA
238.   Charles Petty, WW II infantry vet, Lexington, MA
239.   Andrea Vallario, Methuen, MA
240.  Chas Bicking, RN, Andover, MA
241.   Sharyl Strong
242.   Nathalie Hoke, Camp Hill, PA
243.   Deva Jasheway, Boston, MA
244.   Danny Perkins, VFP, Concord
245.   Military Families Speak Out 
246.   Phil Dunkelbarger, Westwood, MA
247.   Abbie Jenks, MSW, Pelham, MA
248.   John Firmin, Somerville, MA
249.   Paul Del Junco, Toronto, Canada
250.  Pax Christi New Jersey
251.   Sara Kirk, Amherst, MA
252.   Laura Evonne Steinman, Arlington street Church - Director of Religious Education / Artist in Residence - Boston, MA
253.   Rev. Dr. Beth Johnson, Minister, Palomar Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Vista, CA
254.   First Parish UU Church of Bridgewater, Social Justice Committee 
255.   Rev. Dr. Anita Farber-Robertson, Bridgewater, MA
256.   Joan S. Livingston, Eastern-Mass. No Drones Network, Codepink Greater Boston, UNAC, IAC (international Action Center), Alliance for Global Justice
257.   Maria Termini, proud friend of the late Lt. Col. Matthew Martin Cordes, USMC
258.   MaryAnne Cappelleri, Campus Minister, Stonehill College
259.   Rick Gaumer, Norwich, CT
260.  Joanne Sheehan, Norwich, CT
261.   Marabeth W. Nally, Rochester, NY
262.   Leslie A. Fraser, President, Interfaith Council of Franklin County, Multifaith Chaplain, Mount Holyoke College
263.   Suzanne D. LaVoie
264.   Jesse Jaeger, Executive Director of UU Mass Action
265.   Rainbow Times Newspaper
266.   Gricel Martinez, Publisher, Rainbow Times
267.   Nicole Lashomb, Editor, Rainbow Times
268.   Bonnie Gorman, Mass. Gold Star Families for Peace
269.   Sandra Peevers
270.   Mass Peace Action
271.    Wendy Lewis, Caerphilly, Wales, UK
272.   Councillor Ray Davies, Chairman, Wales Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND Cymru), Caerphilly, Wales, UK
273.   Leah A. Brown, Roxbury, MA
274.   John Murray, Somerville, MA
275.   Tony Fernandes, Co-Chair GALLAN/Pride@WorkBoston, SEIU national Lavender Caucus
276.   Mary McCarthy, Grace Church Peace Fellowship, Amherst, MA
277.    Bob Hawley, Grace Church Peace Fellowship, Amherst, MA
278.   Linda Clark, Sterling, MA
279.   Molly Hannon, Roslindale, MA
280.  Alyson Hayes, Quincy MA
281.   Mahtowin Munro, United American Indians of New England
282.   Karen Springer, Proud Bostonian
283.   Gerry Scoppettuolo
284.   Linda Jenkins, street medic and Community Church of Boston
285.   Amanda Donovan, MSW, Ipswich, MA
286.   Carolyn Vega, Chelsea, MA
287.   Susan Teshu
288.   Denise Valdez, OWDC
289.   Sam Adams, Philadelphia VVAW
290.  Sylvain Bruni, President of Boston Pride
291.   J-R Canonico, Member Merrimack Valley People for Peace, N. Andover, MA
292.   David Wise, Veterans For Peace
293.   Ellen Flaherty Shatswell, Depression & Bipolar Support Alliance - Boston (DBSA-Boston), NAMI, Houston, TX
294.   Jonathan Proulx, Cambridge, MA
295.   Tony Flaherty, South Boston
296.   Dale Smoak, Somerville, MA
297.   Susan McLucas, Committee for Peace and Human Rights, Eastern MA Anti-Drones Network
298.   Fr. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy, Brockton, MA
299.   Webb Nichols, Watertown, MA, Veteran for Peace
300.  Diane Dougherty, Atlanta, GA
301.    Amy Hendrickson, Brookline, MA
302.   Jon Cook, Brookline, MA
303.   Megan, Tourlis, Queens, NY
304.   Megan Finnerty, Fort Collins, Colorado
305.  John Bach
306.  Michael Carey
307.   Ghanda DiFiglia
308.  Kim West
309.  Julie McClure
310.   Ian Harrington
311.    Will Watson
312.   Rosalie Anders, Cambridge
313.   Pat Westwater-Jong
314.   Trish Hogan, Cambridge
315.   Nancy Wrenn, member, First Unitarian Society in Newton
316.   David Zackon, North Shore Coalition for Peace & Justice
317.    Elaine Ryan
318.   Bob Bowes, Somerville, MA
319.   Margaret Best, Reston, VA
320.  Arlene Dunkelbarger
321.   Natalie Gehosky
322.   Christopher Nauman, MD, Arlington United for Justice with Peace
323.   Lorraine Grzyb, Somerville, MA - Massachusetts Residents for International Human Rights (MRIHR)
324.   Bob Cable, Somerville, MA - Peace Corps, 1962-64; Associate member of VFP
325.   Gary R. Goldstein, Prof., Tufts University
326.   Margaret Reidister, Winthrop, MA
327.   Alice Reilly, Winthrop, MA
328.   Thea Paneth, Arlington United for Justice with Peace
329.   Emily Snyder
330.  Tove Silver, Cambridge, MA
331.   Zaliah Zalkind, Cambridge, MA
332.   Anne Somsel ,CT
333.   Stephen Kobasa, CT
334.   Jamie Thompson, Somerville, MA
335.   Raphaela Comisso, Back Bay, MA


  1. Jaysn Morse, Signing for the Generations of my family here in Mass since the 1600's with tears in my eyes. "Why do we keep thinking THIS war will be the last?"

  2. Christopher Reynolds (Co-founder) of the Massachusetts Pirate Party (MAPP) and founder of the New Hampshire Pirate Party (NHPP)