In 2007, our application was rejected by the city of Long Beach and Pageantry Productions because of our political stance. We were only asking for the right to march under our organization’s banner and with our organization’s t-shirts. Because we stayed the course, meeting with several officials, and making the front for several days in our local newspaper and some national television news, we were eventually granted permission to march. That was after our friends from Iraq Veterans Against the War rejected an offer to sit on the fire truck, sans IVAW t-shirts, but showed up and saluted all parade marchers in the median on the day of the march.
It was a moment we will never forget and that is another reason to continue to take this annual opportunity to be part of the parade, so we can point out that the wars continue.
We do not participate to glorify war but remind people that we want peace now. Also, we continue to have students pass out informational materials to youth, so they consider the truth and consequences about enlistment and war.