Monday, September 8, 2008

The People's Republic WILL remember

The original page one story 9/11/01 was below the fold, but prominent enough to get the A.P.'s attention as it went out over the national wire around dawn. Here we are seven years later and it's above the fold. Go figure.


UPDATE: 10:30 Am: Love the photo the Republican website is now using. It's funny because this same photographer took a photo of my daughter Kira a couple weeks back at the Westfield fair that made the Front page of the Republican. And I instantly remembered him from this photo shoot from 4 or 5 years ago (but he did not remember me)

Today (7 years later) Front Page Spfld Republican article


9:45 PM


So with relatively little discussion the Select Board voted 2-1 with 1 absent (and 1 relocated to South Hadley) to allow the 29 commemorative flags to fly on 9/11 for the first time in five years.

Ms. Brewer sort of tried to make a deal with me (what the Hell am I the official flag spokesperson?) to accept His Lordship’s compromise allowing the flags to fly once every three years but I made no promises. My main goal was to get them up every 9/11, so at least they are guaranteed to fly this Thursday.

As expected Alisa Brewer and Stephanie O’Keeffe voted “yes” and Diana Stein voted “no”.

From Stephanie’s blog illuminating their Select Board packet for this evening:
• A written statement submitted by Gerry Weiss (who will not be present at the meeting) about the commemorative flag issue, recommending that they be displayed on September 11th every three years beginning this year, as a compromise measure reflecting the one-third of Town Meeting members (and the assumption that they represent one-third of the community) who voted to support urging the Select Board to display the flags annually on that date

Details of the Amherst Fire Department’s September 11th ceremony plans at Central Fire Station, involving assembling at 9:55 a.m., ringing a bell, lowering the flag to half staff, a minute of silence, prayer by a chaplain, “Amazing Grace” played by a piper, ringing a bell and raising the flag

an unprecedented historical tragedy

22 comments:

maryd said...

Thank you Larry.

LarryK4 said...

You're most welcome (and yeah, it should not be this difficult)

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't the AFD just negotiate an observance (and flags) into their next contract? I have seen worse negotiated into a contract, and with budgets as tight as they are this year, it would be hard to turn this down....

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Larry!
Weiss's proposal reminds me of "The Shawshank Redemption." In it, Andy Dufresne, the Tim Robbins character, works in the prison library. He continually writes to the Maine Senate imploring them to fund the library. They give him a little bit in the hope that he will cease his letter writing campaign. Andy only steps up his campaign and the library is continuously improved.
So with the Select Board offering compromise, then next year, the pressure must be brought to bear again!

Tony said...

Good work, Larry...

Sam said...

It is *almost* unbelievable that a "compromise" needs to be made to fly the American flag at all... but on the anniversary of 9/11/01, wow. "Only in Amherst"

Good work Larry. Thank you.

O'Reilly said...

Details of the Amherst Fire Department’s September 11th ceremony plans at Central Fire Station, involving assembling at 9:55 a.m., ringing a bell, lowering the flag to half staff, a minute of silence, prayer by a chaplain, “Amazing Grace” played by a piper, ringing a bell and raising the flag

EXCELLENT! Who organized this?

O'Reilly said...

Larry,

I have an idea for your negotiations.

Say that you'll agree to 29 flags on 9/11 once every three years if the town agrees to fly the United Nations flag only once every three days.

Also, if they fail to comply with their end of the bargain, they'll do the 29 flags on 9/11 every year.

Also, see if you can get the firemen to hold their ceremony in an adjacent town in years w/o 29 flags in a town that will fly 29 flags. Always thinking about new angles to make a wining case. Dunno if it'll work. Keep thinking about it.

I really like Rich Morse's idea about tying the day to an idea about providing service to other sin need. Now there's a value everyone in Amherst can get behind.

Anonymous said...

I could kiss you, Mr Kelley, but you are a married man. Thank you for being you and chasing the Flag issue Every little bum f..k town, flies their flags, year round, but not this "communist like" town.

Weiss said 1/3 of the town does not want the flags, then does not 2/3 rule? That is the math that I learned in the Amherst School system.

Thank you, again.

Until later...............

Anonymous said...

As Ms. Stein demonstrated with her vote, Mr. Weiss had absolutely zero (that's none, nada, not any) political interest in making a proposal that would put flags up anytime, anywhere on September 11th. Although I agree with the blogmaster that a vote of all the residents of the Town would ratify the flying of the flags every year, I am quite sure that a poll of Mr. Weiss's "political base" would not.

I don't expect there to be gratitude about that, but it's a fact that needs to recognized somewhere.

Rich Morse

LarryK4 said...

Oh, it will indeed be recognized in the spring of 2010 when 'His Lordship' is up for reelection.

Compared to Awad he will be a piece of cake to bump off (I of course mean that metaphorically)

Helen said...

Thank you Larry for all your hard work on this issue.

maryd said...

The fire dept. has had its own observance every year. It is very touching and having town govt. input would most likely ruin it.
I don't quite get why Ms. Stein would follow the advice of someone who doesn't live in our town, even if it is a NY'er. We aren't asking for a celebration. There is no cheering. I often recall the gathering you organized that first year. Those feelings will stay with my family forever.

Anonymous said...

Don't give up!

HarleysAngel said...

Job well done Larry. Thank you for your time and effort. And as others have said, only in Amherst would you have to negotiate such a thing...

Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

You know, on Monday we can fly the UN flag, on Tuesday we can fly the NATO flag, on Wednesday we can fly the UNICEF flag, on Thursday we can fly the Christian flag (there is such a thing), on Friday we can fly the Confederate Stars & Bars, on Saturday we can fly the Gay Rainbow flag, and on Sunday we can alternate between the five service flags.

What this will do is manage to offend absolutely EVERYONE in this hypersensitive town -- and then the "reasonable comprimise" (which is what the town is working toward) would be to simply fly the US flag, as that would be more acceptable to everyone...

Ed

Anonymous said...

Oh Larry --

You are holding the flag BACKWARDS.....

Ed

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, I know--that too is a metaphor.

Anonymous said...

Just a reminder that some people mourn and remember tragedy quietly and personally. It's their right, and it's not any less American or patriotic than waving the flag. Just for once, it would be great if all the more-patriotic-than-thou folks would stop and listen to people that don't fully agree with their views on how to express one's patriotism. You might find more common ground than you think, and we'd all get along better. Some people have their reasons for feeling that flying the flag is necessary, and it's often not that they are unamerican; others have opposing views. I hate to say it, but just because the flag-wavers think they're right, does not make it so.
Go ahead and hit me with your best rhetoric and prove that you don't understand, nor care, where other people are coming from.

LarryK4 said...

It’s not about “patriotism” it is about remembering the stark, stunning horror of that day.

If you don’t like the flags then I suggest you stay out of town center tomorrow starting around 6:30 AM (and don’t look at any of the municipal/governmental flags in all cities and towns that will be at half-staff).

Anonymous said...

I didn't say I didn't like flags, did I? That has nothing to do with the issue. I -am- saying that some people don't need to dress up the town in flags to remember the stark, stunning horror. For many, the images will always be stuck in our brains whether there are flags flying or not. And they may mourn and remember in their own private ways.

In case I wasn't clear, I'll repeat:
Just for once, it would be great if all the more-patriotic-than-thou folks would stop and listen to people that don't fully agree with their views on how to express one's patriotism. You might find more common ground than you think, and we'd all get along better. Some people have their reasons for feeling that flying the flag is necessary, and it's often not that they are unamerican; others have opposing views.

and I'll repeat this too, since you just proved my point:
Go ahead and hit me with your best rhetoric and prove that you don't understand, nor care, where other people are coming from.

LarryK4 said...

Feel free to grieve, and mourn any way you wish. I'm not trying to stop you; why are you trying to stop me?

As Select Woman O'Keeffe said on her Town Meeting blog about her yes vote to fly the flags "What's the harm?"

Sorry sir; you, like most Anons, are not worth "my best rhetoric."