Once again, the annual 9/11 Truth Outreach vigil at the Connecticut Veterans Parade allowed the taboo subject of “what happened on 9/11” to be raised in a public forum. A banner, “9/11 Truth, Good for America!” carried by two 9/11 activists, was visible to many spectators before the parade and displayed to over 3,000 marchers in the parade as they slowly marched by.
The red, white and blue motif of the “9/11 Truth, Good for America!” banner was developed by Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth. It reminds people that what is good for America is a viable democracy that does not censor discussion about important issues such as “what happened on 9/11.”
Encouraging exploration of 9/11 issues is the most straightforward, easy way people will be able to understand the depth of what took place that fateful September day. It also provides context for current events that are absent from today’s media.
Before the parade’s color guard took their first steps to officially start the parade, 9/11 outreach began when two 9/11 Truth Outreach supporters, Wayne Coste and Bowen Roberts, walked the parade route in reverse. This allowed them to share the 9/11 message and hand out flyers to everyone with nothing to do who was waiting for the parade to start.
Once we encountered the color guard at the head of the parade, it was time to step aside. At that point, we held the banner high allowing marchers see the words “9/11 Truth, Good for America!” This simple yet stunning message was shared with three members of the Connecticut Congressional delegation. In the photos to the left, United States Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal walked by with an increasingly spritely pace once they saw the banner (above). In the lower photo, Representative John Larsen looks at the banner. It is not the first time these Congressmen saw the message questioning 9/11 at the Veterans Day Parade. In 2014 they saw the same message. In a previous year they accepted brochures from a concerned citizen when their section of the parade slowed to a momentary standstill. This year, as they passed by, they were reminded to read the 28 redacted pages from the 2002 Report of The Joint Inquiry into the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001.
Wayne said, “The marchers ranged from high school bands to Korean War veterans to firefighters and many others. The reception was heartening. I got thumbs up and positive nods from lots of people who reacted to the message. You could see the faces of some that they had no idea what “9/11 Truth, Good for America!” was referring to, but many more understood the message and responded positively.” Wayne continued, “There was only one audible comment from a parade participant who said, ‘Five thousand were killed in the terrorist attacks.’ To that I replied, ‘That is only part of the story. The rest is more interesting.’”
After the last marchers passed by the location where they were standing, Wayne and Bowen relocated adjacent to the reviewing stand near the end of the parade route. Once they arrived and began to display the banner again, police requested that we move. They found a location across the street that provided visibility for the marchers and the assembled dignitaries – many of whom had received our material before the parade started.
In the past, Veterans for Peace (VFP) Chapter 42 invited their members and supporters to join them in the Veterans Parade, encouraging them to bring along signs with messages of peace, reconciliation and transparency. For the first time in over 15 years, Chapter 42 had no organized presence. However, their message of transparency and accountability was brought to the annual parade by the Hartford 9/11 Truth community.
With receptivity to the 9/11 Truth message greater than in past years, we now need to focus on getting all those that agree with us to speak up. How things have changed since the early days when VFP Chapter 42 marched!
Steve Fournier, a member of VFP Chapter 42 said, “There is nothing more important to encourage others to speak up than for them to see good role models who have the courage to speak up.”
Dave Ionno, Chapter 42 organizer, has been active with Veterans for Peace for many decades. During his tour of duty in Vietnam he learned what it meant to go to war. Dave said, “We have a right to carry these signs in this parade and along the parade route. The messages on these signs are examples of protected free speech which is central to what the veterans in this parade fought for. They swore an oath to protect the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. This was not an allegiance to a political party or particular political leaders, but rather to the Constitution. And the Constitution included the Bill of Rights. All are invited—including those with 9/11-related messages.”
The Hartford 9/11 Truth community is looking forward to the 2016 Connecticut Veterans Day Parade and encourages others to participate in parades in their local communities – either as participants or as part of a vigil.