On a day which we are supposed to honor those who have sacrificed their lives in the defense of our nation, the committee decided the theme of the parade would be "Go Green."
Some of the entries in the parade also raise questions. While the U.S. Army Reserve's 91st Division Band marched in the parade, the Mountain Play's cast of the 1960's hippie play "Hair" and members of the Marin Appeasement & Injustice Coalition also marched in the parade. In previous years, the coalition had been refused entry after one sign in the 2004 parade called Ariel Sharon a war criminal and flyers were passed out which read "Jews are responsible for 9/11." According to the May 28, 2005 Marin IJ, parade organizers asked for an apology and instead received a letter saying "we are sorry" followed by "a diatribe about Palestine and that Israel was the aggressor."
So, after such disgusting behavior, why should this group of terrorist apologists be allowed to march in a parade honoring American heroes? According to the entry form, "the committee reserves the right to refuse entrants/floats it deems offensive, inappropriate or contrary to the spirit of the parade or the town of Mill Valley." Well, having actors from a play glorifying the counterculture of the 1960's and the living relics of that era who still spout the same blame America first garbage from 40 years ago is offensive, inappropriate and contrary to the spirit of a Memorial Day Parade.
Andrew Felder of Kentfield felt the same way and wrote the following in a letter to the editor to the IJ.
"...I welcome the effort to encourage environmentalism, but Memorial Day has a theme and it isn't supposed to be about frivolity. Candy throwing and racing bathtubs have their place, but the near-complete marginalization of the fallen soldier was embarrassing.
This Memorial Day in particular - when thousands of families around America, including Marin, are grieving for loved ones lost in the current war - the decision to obscure the solemnity of the occasion is particularly egregious. It's not about whether or not you support the war, but about showing respect for the personal losses of others and the freedoms we on the home front are able to enjoy through those sacrifices.
I hope next year's parade, regardless of our status in Iraq, makes more effort to remind residents of why we gather on Memorial Day in the first place. It's the one day a year we ask ourselves to reflect upon our lost soldiers. One day a year, perhaps the fun and political statements can wait."
The Mill Valley I Love A Parade Committee needs to remember the reason for Memorial Day. If the Appeasement & Injustice Coalition want to participate in a parade, perhaps Mill Valley should consider holding a May Day Parade. Not on Memorial Day, thank you very much.