Peace group unwelcome at Duluth Memorial Day parade

Is there room for peace in a holiday that memorializes soldiers who died in war?

Not in Duluth, the Duluth News Tribune reports today.

The organizers of the West Duluth Memorial Day parade have “banned forever” the local Veterans for Peace chapter.

The Northland Veterans Service Committee voted this week to ban the group.

“I guess it comes down to we don’t want politics … or protesting politics; we just want to honor our deceased comrades and pay tribute to them,” said Brenda Haase, the treasurer of the committee.

“Everything in our society is politicized,” said Philip Anderson, president of the local VFP. “Everything is done through politics, whether a child goes off to war, has a decent school. … They’ve got a political agenda, too, and theirs is promoting war.”

“I’m a combat-wounded infantryman,” countered NVSC board member John Marshall. “I’m a vet who wishes for peace, who prays for peace. It’s just not a reality.” He says the Veterans for Peace is a radical group that castigates veterans as “war mongers.”