We wish you not only a happy new year but one that will bring positive developments on the political scene. We watch outraged as one more appalling scene follows another on the national and international stage--yet, the players continue uninterrupted. We believe that the only way that change can occur is by changing the players and those who write their scripts. As it was in 2005, the one and only focus of the North Fork People of Conscience in 2006 will be stopping the killling in Iraq NOW. We support Congressman John Murtha's proposal to bring all the troops home in the next six months. We will continue to scrutinize the performance of our elected officials, to protest army recruiting initiatives in the schools and to counsel young people on how to become conscientious objectors.
Above all, we will continue the appalling expansion of the photograph panels of the Honor the Fallen Memorial (www.honorthefallen.net).
WE BEGIN THE YEAR WITH A FUNDRAISER
Please mark your calendar for March 19, the third anniversary of the invasion of Iraq.
We are planning a fund-raiser at Vail-Leavitt Music Hall in Riverhead on Sunday, March 19 at 3 pm. The event will include as many of the Honor the Fallen memorial panels as we can hang, two films, one full-length and one a short documentary by a North Fork high school student. We will have speakers and will also be offering anti-war t-shirts and, possibly a raffle. We are desperately short of funds, with enough dead soldier faces to fill another ten panels.
Some facts: A year ago, on the second anniversary of the war (March 20, 2005), we displayed 83 panels, representing 1,494 dead. We marked 2,000 dead on October 27, 2005. . We filled 120 panels, representing 2,160 dead, on November 3, 2005. We now have 286 more faces and bios of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan ready for lamination into 16 panels. This takes us through January 9, 2006. We need to raise $1,300 to bring these dead soldiers into the Memorial. We can only guess at what the rest of January and February will bring.
1. Last night (January 9) we met with a room full of Tim Bishop's constitiuents in the Rogers Memorial Library in Southampton. Although other District 1 issues were discussed, the audience returned again and again to the war, and, especially, to urge Bishop to support the Murtha proposal.
2. Pat Hovey announced that she had received a letter from Governor Pataki appointing her to the Selective Service Board. We can only speculate what this means for a draft.
3. If you were channel surfing on Sunday afternoon at 12.30 pm, you may have unwittingly come across NFPOC and the Honor the Fallen project on Channel 20 where we were interviewed by Pastor Vita of the Lutheran Church in Bridgehampton.
4. We have applied to the IRS for 501(c)3 status. We have also applied for a grant to support the ongoing production of the panels and maintenance of our website www.honorthefallen.net
A CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS
We are reaching out to all of you for help with the March 19 event. We need skills, inspiration and plain old brawn to help with video equipment for screening the films, public relations and press initiatives, development of flyers and posters, design of t-shirts as well as the hanging and dismantling the panel display, managing the events of the day, ticket collection, pre-event ticket sales and many other things as the day approaches.
Please call or email us with any comments or suggestions and let us know how you can help make this event into a huge success.
With thanks and in peace,
North Fork People of Conscience
631 765 4612