April 05, 2020

Veterans for Peace OK pact to join parade in Portland

PORTLAND – City officials announced Thursday that an agreement was reached in which Veterans for Peace will be allowed to participate in the Veterans Day parade after all.

Portland’s American Legion Post 17 informed the group that it was not invited because of concerns that its presence would cause other groups to drop out following a flap over the American Legion’s “Adopt a Flag” program.

Veterans for Peace planned to pull a float decorated with 600 crosses, one for each American military death in Iraq. It was built shortly after the war in Iraq began. Three years later, the death toll stands at nearly 2,800.

The compromise calls for Veterans for Peace to participate but all groups will follow the same guidelines allowing only one sign or banner per group, said Peter Dewitt, city spokesman. No other signs will be included in the parade, he said.

After the regularly scheduled ceremony in Monument Square has concluded, Veterans for Peace will hold a rally, he said.

Veterans for Peace has participated in the parade for the past 15 years, but relations became strained last month.

Legionnaires set up a program in which people could be memorialized with an American flag and a plaque for $100. Veterans for Peace sent in a check in the name of an Iraqi boy who was killed. The check was returned.

Dewitt said he’s glad the issue was resolved. “We look forward to a parade on November 11th that will honor all of our veterans,” he said.

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