From Matthew Rothschild in The Progressive:
There is one group of veterans that isn't allowed to march in the national memorial parade in Washington on Monday.
That's the Veterans for Peace, Delwin Anderson Memorial chapter, based in D.C. It's named after a World War II vet who fought in Italy and then worked for the VA for many years designing programs for injured veterans.
The group had applied to join the National Memorial Day parade.
And initially, anyway, it was accepted.
But then, late last month, the group was told that it didn't meet the criteria to participate.
The American Veterans Center, which runs the parade, told them "we cannot have elements in the parade that have any type of political message or wish to promote a point of view."
But other groups, like the American Legion, will be participating in the parade.
Its creed is to defend "God and country" and to "foster and perpetuate a 100 percent Americanism."
And check out the list of major sponsors for the parade. They include: Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, the nation of Kuwait, the U.S. Army, and even the NRA.
"We're striving to keep political statements out of the parade," says Jordan Cross, communications director of the American Veterans Center.
So god, country and "Americanism" are not political statements. But peace is a political point of view.
From the American Legion's Wikipedia entry:
In addition to organizing commemorative events and volunteer activities, the American Legion is active in U.S. politics. While its primary political activity is lobbying for the interests of veterans, including support for veterans benefits such as pensions and the Veterans Affairs hospital system, it has also been involved in more general political issues, generally taking a conservative position.