Nov. 11 is Armistice Day. Today it’s called Veterans Day, to remember veterans from all wars, but as Armistice Day it has a more profound meaning; it signifies the end of World War I, the so-called “war to end all wars.”
One hundred years ago on Christmas Eve, during that war, soldiers from all countries made a truce, stopped shooting, climbed out of those trenches into “no man’s land,” fraternized, exchanged mementos, sang carols, played soccer, smoked and drank with their so-called enemies, and ignored their officers who demanded that fighting continue.
The end of hostilities didn’t last, but it’s important to celebrate what those men did, making peace with each other for as long as they could hold out under great pressure. The salute to Armistice Day is marked by sounding church and other bells eleven times at 11 a.m., and quiet reflection on the insanity of war and the people who make war and profit from it.
Veterans Day celebrations, including the traditional New York City parade up Fifth Avenue, have focused on military themes. In designating Nov. 11 as Armistice Day, President Woodrow Wilson said, “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and … because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations …”
President Eisenhower changed Armistice Day to Veterans Day, to honor veterans of all wars, stating: “It has long been our custom to commemorate November 11, the anniversary of the ending of World War I, by paying tribute to the heroes of that tragic struggle and by rededicating ourselves to the cause of peace,” and “I hereby call upon all of our citizens to solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly … and let us reconsecrate ourselves to the task of promoting an enduring peace so that their efforts shall not have been in vain.”
We Veterans for Peace (veteransforpeace.org) will be marching in the annual NYC Armistice/Veterans Day Parade. The purpose of Veterans for Peace is to increase public awareness of the costs of war, restrain our government from intervening in the internal affairs of other nations, end the arms race, eliminate nuclear weapons, seek justice for veterans and all victims of war, and to abolish war as an instrument of national policy.
Let’s stop funding endless wars, and concentrate our resources on human needs, including healthcare, education, rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, mass transit and useful jobs for our young people.
Two New York icons, the Whitestone Bridge and the 1939 World’s Fair, celebrate their 75th anniversaries this year.
In their honor, the Queens Library and the Queens Historical Society have joined forces to recognize the connection between the two with an extensive photo exhibition on view at the Whitestone branch of the library. The exhibit is free and open to the public.
I write in response to Louis Oreamuno’s letter to the editor published June 19, 2014, captioned “Jax Hts., USA?”
Mr. Oreamuno laments a lack of “patriotism” because there are no military/veterans parades in Jackson Heights, but the community is “inundated by racial parades as well as this aberration of gay pride (in what?).” While I think it is important that we support and thank veterans, including Mr. Oreamuno, for their service, I am dismayed that he chose to express his dissatisfaction in a manner that castigates the immigrant and the LGTBQ populations (not to mention that he confuses race with national origin).
Patriotism means many things to many people. For me patriotism includes pride in a society that constantly strives towards greater inclusion and diversity. As a nation of immigrants we celebrate diversity, whether based on national origin, religious belief or sexual orientation. New York City is exc
eptional and successful in part because we welcome people of all cultures, beliefs, and orientations, harness their incredible talents and drive, and celebrate their inclusion within the larger community. Jackson Heights is a one of the most diverse communities in New York City, not to mention the nation, and is a fantastic example of this success.
We should do more to honor and support veterans. However, the fact that communities celebrate their culture and history with parades in no way takes away from the accomplishments of our men and women in uniform. To the contrary, we support veterans because they risked their lives to protect one of our most fundamental and sacred beliefs — that all people are welcome here, deserve respect and should be proud of their heritage.
As a Korean war veteran I am incensed by the absolute lack of patriotic pride in Jackson Heights. We seem to be inundated by racial parades as well as this aberration of gay pride (in what?) but in all my years here, since 1970 I have yet to see any military/veterans parades. Please explain this anomaly to me, as it just makes no sense whatsoever.
If Howard Beach had its own Facebook page, it would perhaps not come as a surprise if its relationship status were “It’s complicated.”
In it’s relatively short, turbulent history, the neighborhood has experienced some of the worst of nature’s elements — and has also been forced to contend with some of man’s own nuisances.
The colorful mural on the side of Maspeth Federal Savings bank at the intersection of Grand Avenue and 69th Street proudly proclaims “Maspeth is America.”
Few things are more American than a grandiose painting of a bald eagle soaring alongside Old Glory, just like few neighborhoods in the entire country have more history than Maspeth does.
It is no secret that Queens is one of the most diverse areas in the country and Jackson Heights is a testament to that.
“If you go down there, that’s called Little Bangladesh,” longtime resident and Councilman Danny Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) said. “Then the next street, that’s little India.”
After at least 26 members of the City Council last week signed a letter telling retail giant Walmart and its owners’ family foundation that donations from them to organizations in the city are not welcome, several charitable groups that receive the contributions were quoted in the media as saying they have no intention of returning the funding.
“We will not give the money back, nor should we,” Joel Berg, executive director of the Coalition Against Hunger, told the New York Post. “Our determination of whether we ask for and take money is not how the company earned the money, it’s how they want us to spend it. In this case it’s on progressive values. Never has it been tied to any public-policy agenda.”
Enthusiastic spectators dressed head to toe in pride colors stand along the parade barricade.
The MTA has planned multiple alternatives to cover for reduced or nonexistent No. 7 line service on many weekends this summer and fall, but no one expects things to be easy.
“We know how important the 7 line is,” said MTA NYC Transit President Carmen Bianco at a press conference Friday in Flushing.
The lack of No. 7 service didn’t slow down the thousands of people who gathered along 37th Avenue in Jackson Heights on Sunday for the 21st Annual Queens Pride Parade and Festival.
Members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community along with allies marched to music and celebrated their sexual identities and families.
The City Council LGBT caucus leads the way as the parade’s grand marshals with other Council members.
Mayor de Blasio waves his pride flag while greeting parade-goers.
The lack of No. 7 service didn’t slow down the thousands of people who gathered along 37th Avenue in Jackson Heights on Sunday for the 21st Annual Queens Pride Parade and Festival. Members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community along with allies marched to music and celebrated their sexual identities and families. There was also a moment of silence to honor those who had been killed as the result of hate crimes. — Tess McRae
Wayfinding: 100 NYC Public Sculptures by Bundith Phunsombatlert, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, located on the lawn between the Unisphere and the Queens Museum, on view thru November.
The parade committee marches down 37th Avenue at last year’s Pride Parade. Candy Samples reviewed stand hosts and entertained festival attendees during the 2013 Queens Pride Parade.
Candy Samples reviewed stand hosts and entertained festival attendees during the 2013 Queens Pride Parade.
Jackson Heights will be full of pride on June 1st when the 2014 Queens Pride Parade and Festival hits the streets.
The event, sponsored by the Queens Lesbian and Gay Pride Committee, has drawn thousands of people to the 37th Avenue area to celebrate the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community for two decades.
The Laurelton Lions Club, VFW Post 5298 and other community groups honored fallen heroes in Laurelton on Monday with a parade and wreath-laying ceremony.
In attendance were Girl and Boy Scouts, the Buffalo Soldiers — who rumbled down the street on their motorcycles — veterans and community leaders and groups.
Heavy rain in the predawn hours of Saturday morning may have washed out the Hollis-Bellaire-Queens Village-Bellerose Athletic Association’s opening day slate of games, but that didn’t stop the hundreds of players from proudly marching in the league’s annual opening day parade.
The Queens World Film Festival celebrates filmmaking from around the borough and around the world and runs from Wednesday to Saturday. Here is a guide to the films being shown in selected thematic blocks this weekend.
Councilman Danny Dromm, center right, with Public Advocate Letitia James, right, former Speaker Christine Quinn, center left, and Council Members Jimmy Van Bramer, second from left, and Julissa Ferreras, left, at last year’s Pride Parade in Jackson Heights.
(BPT) - Where’s everybody going? The travel forecast for 2014 points to destinations inspired by a whole lot of sportsmanship and team spirit. Hot spots expected to trend this year include North American ski resorts catering to travelers looking for an Olympic experience closer to home before, during and after the games; and Brazil, inspired by World Cup fever.
To the men who killed him, Julio Rivera was apparently just a gay man upon whom they could inflict their hate. But to the residents of Jackson Heights, Rivera was the catalyst who would propel them to enact positive changes within their community.
Early morning on July 2, 1990, Rivera was leaving Friends Tavern, a local gay bar, when he was violently beaten and stabbed to death in a playground by three men affiliated with the gang called Doc Martin Skinheads. According to testimony cited in The New York Times, Daniel Doyle, 21, Erik Brown, 21, and Esat Bici, 19 were hunting for a “drug dealer or a drug addict or a homo out cruising” to use their hammer and knife on.
Yes, the mural says “Maspeth is America,” but you better believe the rest of this part of Queens is just as patriotic. Our all-American pride was on display Nov. 3, when the Fourth Annual Queens Veterans Day Parade was held in Middle Village.