Sunday, May 12, 2013

Ten Years Later

MSP leads the "Convoy" 

With Massachusetts State Police leading the way, the small town veterans "Welcome Back Convoy" roared through Amherst town center Saturday morning on their way to the Cummington Fair Grounds.


 AFD Engine 1 greets "Veterans Welcome Home Convoy"
Even though town center was bustling at the time, I did not see a single person holding an American flag or "Thank You" sign to acknowledge their service. And I'm not sure why.

10 minutes later convoy hits Hadley town center

Ten years ago when I organized a "Support The Troops" rally in town center, soon after the 2nd War In Iraq started, I feared a scant turnout.  This is after all Amherst, where only the h is silent and anti-war sentiment is voiced loudly and often.  But that day I could not have been more wrong. 

So why such a different result yesterday, especially since we went on to depose a monster and "win" the war?  Are Iraq and Afghanistan  going to become the "Korea" or "Viet Nam" of American conflicts, where the resulting efforts were for too long a time period considered futile ... best not brought up in polite conversation?

I hope not ...
#####
Shortly after the convoy came through, eight college aged youth made a grand entrance near the busy downtown Farmers Market carrying a large construction pipe on their shoulders with "Thank You TD Bank" emblazoned on both sides.


I just thought they were an athletic team publicly thanking TD Bank for sponsorship until a half hour later I heard Dispatch mention to patrol cars in the field to check out a small group of "protesters" hassling TD Bank customers about "oil."

So the kids may want to work on their presentation next time. 

Or they could change ad copy to "Thank You Veterans" for protecting our most solemn right as an American:  The First Amendment.  Oorah!

23 comments:

Tom Porter said...

Oil? I use oil every day. Thank you, TD Bank, for whatever you did!

Larry Kelley said...

Yes, definitely a confused presentation.

They stayed away from Bank of America, who posted a guard at the main entrance after the "Occupy" movement hassled their customers last year.

Dr. Ed said...

"College-aged" does not mean "UMass students" -- and even they actually are attending UMass, the fact that the semester ended a week ago sorta means that they live locally.

I suspect that you would find that these lovely darlings are the children of your august townies....

The ultimate irony, however, is that the Keystone Pipeline -- which is where they got the idea of using a pipe as prop -- would actually REDUCE our need of foreign oil....

Larry Kelley said...

The photo was shot on Amherst College property.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Ed,

How would it reduce our dependence on foreign oil since it would both be carrying foreign oil from Canada and then shipping it to Texas where it is to be shipped overseas. Please explain?

Anonymous said...

Well, you see, there could be a man hiding in the bushes...

Anonymous said...

Glad they were protesting TD Bank; I really really dislike "totally dumb" Bank

John Edwards

Anonymous said...

Ed, nobody said anything about Umass students even though many still haven't moved out.
Larry is right, even though he originally didn't make a connection the protesters were seen on Amherst College campus with their giant pipe.

Walter Graff said...

Why not? Most imported oil in the US is from Canada followed by Saudia Arabia then Mexico, Venezuela, Iraq, Columbia, Kuwait, Nigeria, Angola and Ecuador. Oil rules!

Anonymous said...

How was the convoy arrival announced?

In this area- events are highlighted in the news *after* they happen

and local news- (Gazette and now even The Bulletin) are locked under password protection.


Larry Kelley said...

The Gazette and Republican (which I link to above) gave it a little advance press, town website posted it, and a few people shared on their Facebook wall.

It would have been nice if the town put up the 29 commemorative flags in the downtown.

As a symbol of respect/honor, but also as a signal that the even was happening.

Anonymous said...

Patriotism, like many other things (i.e. religion, sex) speaks loudest by how one conducts THEMSELF not by how much one talks about it or how often one waves flags.
I am a military veteran as were many in my family. We all value our country and the flag, Larry, but your grandstanding at Ground Zero and constant harping (no pun intended) about the flag, leaves me suspect about your true, perhaps even subconscious, motives.

Larry Kelley said...

I would be a tad more impressed if you left your name (most veterans I know are not cowards).

"Grandstanding", eh?

I'm sure if that were the case President Bush, Senator Kennedy, Congressman Olver,and Governor Swift would not have signed the photo.

Anonymous said...

They all signed it because if one of them didn't you'd be on the freaking internet yelling "This politician didn't sign my picture! COMMIE! COMMIE!"

That's why they're called "politicians".

Anonymous said...

What was the purpose in you travelling to ground zero with a big flag? It was to take a picture of yourself, right? At least that's the one you show us all the time.

Larry Kelley said...

Um, yeah, a President of the United States of America, the most powerful person on the planet is afraid of little old me and the freaking Internet.

Yikes!

Larry Kelley said...

The flag was not a "big" one, it was one of the standard size commemorative flags from the downtown given to me by Veterans Agent Rod Raubeson.

I flew it over Ground Zero because another Veterans Agent had told the Select Board on the night before 9/11 the flags were now "desecrated".

And I figured one sure way to undesecrate an American flag is to fly it over Ground Zero (That flag also flew over the Capital Building in Washington DC and State House in Boston.)

Picture was taken simply as proof since Cowardly Anon Nitwits like to to question EVERYTHING.

Anonymous said...

You are our hero, thanks for so selflessly making that enormous trip to undesecrate one of our flag.

Gosh your ego is enormous, Larry. Even if the flag wasn't.

Larry Kelley said...

You're welcome.

Anonymous said...

"Dr. Ed,

How would it reduce our dependence on foreign oil since it would both be carrying foreign oil from Canada and then shipping it to Texas where it is to be shipped overseas. Please explain?"

Gee, Dr. Ed seems most unusually quiet. Could it be because "facts matter! facts matter! mwaaah, facts matter!"... and he hasn't got any? What a complete tool.

Dr. Ed said...

I have long heard the mantra that the Keystone Pipeline's Oil would be shipped overseas -- and not refined in Texas for American markets -- and yet no one has ever explained exactly WHERE "overseas" it would be shipped, nor why American companies wouldn't want to buy it.

Notwithstanding this, the more Canadian Oil that is sold, the less Middle Eastern Oil that gets sold. Regardless of whom it is sold to.

Anonymous said...

But how does that "reduce our dependence on foreign oil"?

O-o-o-h, I get it now. Canada is not foreign, because they look and talk sort of like a lot of us and are in close proximity to the USA.

Dr. Ed said...

No, Canada is a Western Democracy and not an Islamic Theocracy - Canada is not a country plotting the destruction of our country.

They also let women drive cars...