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.
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our dear Veterans for Peace and Vietnam Veterans Against the War brother, Horace Coleman.
Horace was a longtime key member of Veterans for Peace Chapter 110 in Southern California, serving as Chapter Treasurer until a severe stroke drastically limited his participation three years ago. Horace was also actively involved for years in Military Families Speak Out, and participated in many peace events as a veteran and as the father of a veteran.
A Captain in the Air Force during the Vietnam War, Horace deployed to Vietnam. There he developed his keen sense of war’s folly and murderous injustice. A grass roots intellectual and activist ever since his return in the 60’s, Horace found his voice as the host and producer of the first black student-run radio show, at Ohio University. He and his colleagues were the first to educate college students about the My Lai massacre also. Horace Coleman was one of our reliable “regulars” as an Arlington West Memorial Chapter 110 supporter and participant, and he often spoke to youth at schools and community events about the true cost of war.
As a talented writer, Horace was also a regular contributor of articles for Vietnam Veterans Against the War. His 1995 book of poetry, In the Grass, earned praise from such figures as Howard University’s E. Ethelbert Miller, who hailed the work as “a book of darkness and revelation.” It is available from Amazon. Among his other accomplishments, Horace’s photography graced the pages of numerous publications, including the national VFP Newsletter.
Horace was a pillar of the southern California peace community, an articulate and outspoken peace activist. We miss him dearly. Messages of condolences can be sent to his son, Drake Coleman at drakecoleman at hotmail.com.
In lieu of flowers the family has requested that donations be mailed to Veterans For Peace Chapter 110 at 775 Havana Ave., Long Beach, CA. 90804-4450.