Veterans Day Concert and Rally for the 99%
“Honor the Dead, Fight Like Hell For the Living”
When: Friday, 11/11/11 @ 1 PM
Where: Foley Square, New York City
Each year I dedicate Veterans Day to my father, Col. Charles H. Dalton III who served in three wars: WWII in Patton’s Third Army, Korea and Military Intelligence Saigon and to all the men and women who’ve served and continue to serve our country even when our country does not deserve their loyalty or their lives.
Growing up as an Army brat I have a bitter/sweet relationship with Veterans Day. I didn’t believe in the Vietnam War my father and millions of other Americans served and fought in. I don’t believe in war as a means to resolve conflict or acquire resources or spread “democracy.” I do believe, as George Washington did, in self-defense and defending our country. And I believe many of the people who wave the flag and claim to support the troops are full of crap. “Rah, rah, we support the troops.” If we really supported the troops we’d demand these illegal wars of aggression be stopped and bring them home. Our government uses these men and women who are truly the most patriotic of us all. These souls are willing to give their lives for their country. But these days I know many people sign up for military service because they have no other job opportunities and believe they’re doing something noble.
Unfortunately, America has become the evil empire. She goes about murdering and plundering at will with no regard for anyone just her own insatiable greed. She’s a bottomless pit, which cannot be satisfied. She fights for the corporate elites who bilk billions from her coffers of gold and blood.
“War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small “inside” group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.” Maj. Gen. Smedley D. Butler (Two-time Congressional Metal of Honor Recipient)
So as the big Veterans Day parade marched up Fifth Avenue I donned my father’s fatigue jacket from Vietnam, placed a pink peace button on the pocket and headed down to Foley Square to the Veterans Day Concert and Rally for the 99% to listen to Joan Baez and other likeminded activist/artists. The crowd was small but enthusiastic. The day was sunny, brisk and chilly. There were almost as many police officers as there were protesters.
Joan Baez sang three songs including “Where’s My Apple Pie,” or “Time to Occupy” and “Joe Hill.” Her voice is lower now and even more rich and haunting then it was in the 60’s. There was also incredible music by the duo, Joseph Author, Ryan Harvey and others. Sgt. Thomas said a few words to the crowd as did a member of IVAW and Max Rameau of Take Back The Land. But after a couple of hours the sun went behind the clouds and I found myself needing to go home and get warm.
But I reflect on our egregious wars and all the men and women who perish and I feel such a sense of loss and sadness and I wonder, “When will it ever end? Oh, when will it ever end?”
The Vietnam War finally ended when our troops refused to fight and began “fragging” murdering their commanding officers.
And I know nothing will change until enough of us have awakened and stand up against the destructive war machine that cares not for you or me but only thirsts for more.
Joan Baez sings “Where’s My Apple Pie.”
It’s time to occupy.
Ryan Harvey sings “Your Poverty is Our Profit.”
Ryan Harvey sings “Peace, Justice and Anarchy.”