To the Editor:
I read the article in the News and Citizen last week, “Cambridge town bell to ring on Veterans Day.” As a reader, I was particularly confused when the article was titled in this manner and then went on to read that the bell was to be rung on Veterans Day in honor of Armistice Day.
David Ransom and the Green Mountain Veterans for Peace were mentioned in the article. This group may have some members in their ranks who are veterans but being a veteran of the U.S. military is not a requirement for membership. According to their website, you can join their group if you are a veteran or ally. Veterans from other nations may also join.
Ransom, who is listed as a cofounder of the group in 1991 states in the article, “After World War II (Armistice Day) was changed as a day to celebrate ‘all veterans — honorably discharged.’ That change allowed it to grow into a day to celebrate military might and glorify war, as well as feast, completely opposite from its original intent.”
Ransom’s comments are highly offensive. As commander of Mount Mansfield Post 35 of the American Legion, saying that veterans solely celebrate military might and glorify war on Veterans Day couldn’t be further from the truth.
The Legion Post 35 did put together a dinner for veterans and their families on Veterans Day. What occurred was veterans from Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Afghanistan and Iraq all came together for one night to spend time together. It was a time for people in the community to meet and engage with one another in a place where they may not have otherwise had the opportunity. The dinner also provided the chance to celebrate the lives of former post members who have left us in the last year.
If you look back through his frequent postings on social media, Ransom never mentions Veterans Day itself as a holiday even though Veterans Day has been both a national and state holiday longer than Armistice Day was in our nation’s history. It is acutely noted that Ransom insistently calls Nov. 11 Armistice Day, making sure to give a history lesson each time Veterans Day is used.
This attack on veterans and blatant disregard for them as human beings remind me of stories I heard during this year’s Veterans Day dinner about how veterans returning from Vietnam were treated.
Peace at all costs is lofty goal, but we should never forget the attacks on this country that occurred on Dec. 7, 1941, and Sept. 11, 2001. Soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines pray for peace but train for war. Veteran’s service is the reason for Veterans Day, not for celebrating war.
It is quite ironic though that the people who have been attacked by Ransom are the same ones that have protected his freedoms to do.
Charles J. Guyette