The Santa Barbara chapter of Veterans for Peace was excluded from participating in this year’s Fourth of July parade. This is the same group of dedicated volunteers that have been setting up crosses on the beach (Arlington West) next to Sterns Wharf for close to 10 years to demonstrate the true cost of war. Has the idea of peace become somehow unpatriotic? In past parades, the Vets for Peace have consistently received some of the largest applause from spectators.
Isn’t the Fourth of July a celebration of our independence and our freedoms, including our freedom of speech? In an age where whistle-blowers are considered terrorists, and drones kill with the push of a button, it is apparently asking too much for our Independence Day parade to actually embrace the diversity of American values. – Rod Edwards and Carolyn Rice, S.B.