Yardley, Pennsylvania, is a small town, about half a square mile, 15,000 or so residents, right on the Delaware River. It’s not much but it is close to where I live. It’s where I ran an art gallery for a couple of years. It’s also home of my VFW Post and the American Legion Post I belonged to for a year.
What’s special about Yardley is that it has an absolutely amazing, for its size and location, Memorial Day celebration and parade. It really honors veterans. On November 11th there will also be a remembrance ceremony, it’s a smaller event than Memorial Day but the town still takes it seriously enough to block off the highway in front of the local Veterans’ Memorial, for as long as the ceremony lasts.
About a month and a half ago I sent the local VFW and American Legion Posts a letter in which I, representing Pagan Veterans of the United States of America, sought permission for two things. The first was that these group who really organize and operate the Memorial Day events, allow PVUSA members to participate in their ceremonies and parade. All that really means is that PVUSA members be assigned a spot in the parade order and that our flag be allowed to be placed alongside the flags of all the other veterans organizations at the remembrance ceremony.
The other thing I asked for was that these two veterans organizations allow one of our members to march with them as part of the Honor Guard, near the front of the parade, on an equal basis. Now, in most areas, at least here in the Mid-Atlantic, this should not present much of a problem. After all, a lot of Memorial Day parades include members of both Catholic and Jewish War Veterans organizations as well as the Legion, VFW, VVA, MoPH, etc.
But Yardley is really what I would call “white bread.” The majority of its citizens are white, middle-class and upper-middle-class Protestants. And the main parade organized, my VFW Post Senior Vice-commander, has stated his strong opposition to PVUSA participation. In an attempt to educate him I did loan him a copy of The Law Enforcement Guide to Wicca, which he claims to have read.
I have been told that both organizations have discussed and voted on PVUSA participation and that letters have been prepared giving the views of each organization. I have yet to receive these letters and, if and when I do get them and if they refuse PVUSA participation, I’m not sure what to do. My first impulse (triple Leo, Aries rising) is to contact the ACLU and sue. Bu this time I’m not sure what the proper course of action would be.
What do you think? Could you offer some advice?