Denied the right to march in their city’s parade, a Milwaukee veterans group wants to focus on peace this Veterans Day. Bill Christopherson is spokesman for Milwaukee Chapter 102 of Veterans for Peace, which was denied permission to participate in last weekend’s Milwaukee Veterans Parade. Christopherson says members showed up anyway, to raise money for the city’s homeless veterans, and were well received. “One of the parade participants broke ranks and came over to tell us how happy he was that we were there,” said Christopherson, adding that many members of his group are combat veterans.
Christopherson said it’s ironic that politicians, many of them non-veterans, are welcome in the parade, but that Veterans for Peace was deemed too political by parade organizers. Veterans for Peace and other veterans groups are sponsoring an observance at Milwaukee City Hall tonight, which will include tolling the City Hall bell in remembrance of the dead. “Part of what we hope is that we get back to the original purpose of this day, and celebrate it as a day for peace, and solemn remembrance of what happens to people in war, instead of a day for flag waving and fly overs and calls for calls for escalation,” said Christopherson, who noted that Veterans Day was originally Armistice Day, marking the day the First World War ended.