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stephanie
03-16-2007, 03:16 AM
:clap: :salute:

By: Jason Vallee, Herald Staff
03/16/2007
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BERLIN - In recent years, veterans have felt disrespected as war and recognition monuments in Washington, D.C., have been defaced by individuals who have joined in the Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER) annual March, but several residents have said they won't let it happen again.

This Saturday, a group of individuals led by former Marine and Berlin resident Salvatore Sena will go to Washington to protect the monuments and protest any attempts to deface the property by forming a human wall, joining hand in hand with others from across the nation and even Canada.

"Word has come around that a group of extremists has plans to exercise their freedom of speech and protest the war by defacing national monuments," Sena said in an e-mail correspondence with The Herald. "I feel that enough is enough and that's why I will be joining my fellow Americans in guarding and protecting our national monuments in D.C."

The decision to provide a protective human shield around the monuments came after several individuals who had marched in the anti-war protests held in March 2006 turned to vandalism during the event, causing damage to the Vietnam Memorial through what they have said was "an act of freedom of speech" in opposition to war efforts.

Sena said he and other participants from the Berlin area, several being members of the Marine Corps League, are traveling to the site to take part in a peaceful protest of their march with a group known as the Gathering of Eagles.

The group will include individuals from across the United States and veteran soldiers currently residing in Canada. These participants come from all walks of life including organizations such as the Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Riders, Patriot Guard Riders, National Order of the Purple Heart, Gold Star and Blue Star Mothers, and various veterans' groups and POW organizations.

According to Sena, the extremists involved with ANSWER and Code Pink, a second group that will join in the march, represent only 17 percent of society. He said with a joint effort from many in the other 83 percent, he is confident they can protect the monument from a destructive fate in 2007.

Once ANSWER was made aware that there would be a peaceful standoff at the Vietnam Memorial in Constitution Park, it rescheduled its rally to be held at the Henry Beacon Drive Park. This was later named a starting point for its march toward the Pentagon.
The Gathering of Eagles will use Constitution Park as its gathering point and Sena said they will protect several area monuments, not just the Vietnam Memorial. Leaders also encourage participants to arrive early and stay aware as they believe extremists may still attempt to sneak through lines to deface the property.

"As an American veteran, I cannot and will not stand for this type of behavior from any extremist," said Sena in the e-mail. "I hold too much respect for the soldier who gave up his or her life for our country."
Jason Vallee can be reached at jvallee@newbritainherald.com or by calling (860) 225-4601, Ext. 236.
http://www.newbritainherald.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=18087941&BRD=1641&PAG=461&dept_id=572377&rfi=6

Gaffer
03-16-2007, 10:49 PM
If destroying monuments and property is their freedon of speech. My freedom of speech is excersized by busting open their heads. It's my right. I'm just expressing my feelings. And I want to express that freedom multiple times.

stephanie
03-16-2007, 10:57 PM
If destroying monuments and property is their freedom of speech. My freedom of speech is exercise by busting open their heads. It's my right. I'm just expressing my feelings. And I want to express that freedom multiple times.


I don't promote violence......But I know what your feeling..:2up: