Wednesday Nov 11 2009
Peaceful Auburn Veterans Day parade this time for Veterans for Peace
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
A year after a fracas at the Auburn Veterans Day parade, Veterans for Peace had a much more peaceful march Wednesday. A contingent of 15 Veterans for Peace members was greeted with warm applause along much of the route, as well as quite a few peace signs. Last Nov. 11, the Veterans for Peace presence precipitated a brouhaha that led to a 70-year-old member getting punched twice in the head, a tug-of-war over their banner, and accusations that a Legion official was taunted by the group and had his hat swiped off his head. The parade committee voted to allow the peace organization in again this year. Event chairwoman Cynthia Haynes said that she was proud the committee elected to include Veterans for Peace and that things went “beautifully.” Paul McDaniel, a Vietnam veteran, watched the parade from High Street and applauded enthusiastically as the Veterans for Peace group walked by on Wednesday. “There’s nothing wrong with peace – I’m all for it,” McDaniel said. “I was a little put out with what happened last year.” Along the route, Lou Robohm joined two other men next to him to turn their backs on Veterans for Peace as they walked by. They were the lone three observed turning their backs in protest by the Journal as the veterans walked the route. “I did my part and was proud of it,” said Robohm, a reservist in World War II and veteran of Korea. “I definitely don’t agree with the group. They’re yellow bellies as far as I’m concerned.” Carroll Nast, president of the 47-member Veterans for Peace Gold Country chapter, said he was pleased with the response along the route and was treated “fine” by parade officials. “It was 99 percent positive, with the rest from what we could see, indifferent,” Nast said. Nast added the group would likely ask for a different place in the parade because this year they were sandwiched between two vehicles that made too much noise.