Tag Archives: Veterans for Peace

“The Greatest War” Multi-media Event Marks the 100th Anniversary of the Armistice

Andy Moore of the Isthmus : Link to Isthmus article

“On Nov. 11, the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, a battalion of Madison musicians will take the stage at the Barrymore Theatre for an original stage show called “The Greatest War: World War I, Wisconsin, and Why It Still Matters.” The ambitious production is largely the brainchild of local Celt-rocker Ken Fitzsimmons, who approached the project with a level of determination that Sir Douglas Haig himself would approve of.

Co-producers John Wedge and Ken Fitzsimmons trying out a smaller version of a video wall at Blizzard Lighting in Waukesha Pic by Sean Michael Dargan

Fitzsimmons has a life-long interest in WWI starting, he remembers, as a young man who noticed a paltry row of books on the subject in a bookstore compared to the volumes on the Civil War and World War II. He calls the Nov. 11 production “a “live rock ’n’ roll history show.” It’s the result of more than a year of research, composing and rehearsal. Onstage, Fitzsimmons and his band the Kissers will be joined by, among others, Sean Michael Dargan (Get Back Wisconsin) and Milwaukee’s hip-hop polka group November Criminals. While the musicians perform, a large screen will feature photos, film, art and newspaper archives.

Video Screen for Greatest War

The songs tell the stories of Wisconsinites who were caught in the cauldron of war. Not all were in the trenches. “Traitor State” tells the story of how nine of 11 of Wisconsin’s U.S. congressional representatives voted against going to war. Fitzsimmons wrote this song as a conversation between himself (playing the role of Wisconsin) and his band members (who represent the rest of the country). ”

“Music has a direct line into your heart. And in the live setting we can provide a performance without distraction. What I want in this concert more than anything is to foster a sense of connection between the audience and those who lived during this extraordinary time.”
– Ken Fitzsimmons

“One hundred years ago the world celebrated peace as a universal principle. The first World War had just ended and nations mourning their dead collectively called for an end to all wars. Armistice Day was born and was designated as “a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated.” After World War II, the U.S. Congress decided to rebrand November 11 as Veterans Day. Honoring the warrior quickly morphed into honoring the military and glorifying war. Armistice Day was flipped from a day for peace into a day for displays of militarism.” – Veterans for Peace

The names of the Wisconsin soldiers who lost their lives.

The War Won

By Ken Fitzsimmons. This uses a melody from Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto written in the aftermath of the war and builds on a quote by WWI poet Edmund Blunden that no one could win the war, “the War Won, and would keep on winning.” Images are taken from the National Archives. This is an example of the video that will be displayed behind the musicians for The Greatest War: World One, Wisconsin, and Why It Still Matters.

WKOW news coverage

“Madisonians helped mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I by holding a number of events. The war affected millions of people, including several soldiers, nurses, mothers, fathers, sons and daughters who came from Wisconsin.

The events have something for everyone, as they honor those who sacrificed and were impacted by the war. There’s art, film screenings, live theater and musical performances.

The centerpiece of the events is a live “Rock and Roll History Show” at the Barrymore Theatre called, “The Greatest War: World War One, Wisconsin and Why It Still Matters.”

“Wisconsin is very much a state known for it’s wide range of politics. It sometimes very conservative and sometimes very liberal at the same time and that was true back then as well,” said Ken Fitzsimmons, the director of the show.” WKOW

Greatest War Youtube Channel

More info on Veterans Day/Armistice Day from Vets for Peace 

Additional pictures from the Greatest War Event, most of which we would like to thank  Jennifer Brown Dargan for.

 

 

Lisa Gilman – “My Music, My War” [Iraq/Afghanistan] Multimedia Event

The Madison Veterans for Peace Chapter invite you to a Multimedia Event presented by Lisa Gilman – “My Music, My War: The Listening Habits of U.S. Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan”

To learn more, see http://madisonvfp.org or contact Fran Wiedenhoeft 608-576-7416 All welcome! Sliding scale donations welcomed, too.

In the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, recent technological developments in music listening enabled troops to carry with them vast amounts of music and easily acquire new music, for themselves and to share with their fellow troops as well as friends and loved ones far away.

This ethnographic study examines U.S. troops’ musical-listening habits during and after war, and the accompanying fear, domination, violence, isolation, pain, and loss that troops experienced. My Music, My War is a moving ethnographic account of what war was like for those most intimately involved.

It shows how individuals survive in the messy webs of conflicting thoughts and emotions that are intricately part of the moment-to-moment and day-to-day phenomenon of war, and the pervasive memories in its aftermath. It gives fresh insight into musical listening as it relates to social dynamics, gender, community formation, memory, trauma, and politics.

Here’s a PDF for flier to spread around…

More on the author…
https://english.uoregon.edu/profile/lmgilman  

 

Madison VFP Members Testify at VA Privatization Session

VFP members Larry Orr, Lincoln Grahlfs, and Will Williams listen to Suzanne Gordon present at the Madison VA.

Madison VFP Members Testify at VA Privatization Session

By Paul McMahon

Several experienced and VA-knowledgeable VFP members participated in a public information meeting on February 28, 2018 at the Madison Labor Temple about the future of VA medical care. The session focused on an issue that is critical to the future care of veterans in this country—namely the growing efforts to privatize the VA for corporate profit. There is a debate raging in Washington DC about how veterans should receive their health care. While there have always been attempts to privatize parts of veteran care, there have been renewed efforts after employees at the Phoenix VA blew the whistle on management fabricating patient wait lists and putting veterans at risk. Private industry and a Koch brothers-funded organization called the Concerned Veterans of America saw their opportunity and began an all-out assault campaign to take down the VA and farm it out to the private sector. The movement has been gaining support from both sides of the aisle in Washington under the guise of “helping our needy veterans” and “thanking them for their service.”

Perspective at the meeting was presented by Suzanne Gordon. Gordon is an American journalist and author who writes about healthcare delivery and health care systems and patient safety and nursing. She is author, co-author or editor of 18 books. She is currently working on a book about the innovations and clinical care at the Veterans Health Administration.

VFP members Lincoln Grahlfs, Larry Orr and Will Williams all spoke and testified about their excellent treatment at VA facilities. Ms. Gordon urged all present to contact Senators Baldwin, Johnson and their representative (Mark Pocan) to counter the privatization moves. Thanks to all who participated and helped us be better informed. Thank you especially to the American Federation of Government Employes for sponsoring this session and for some of this edited text.

More photos from the event can be found here.

Iconic devotion

Originally posted on isthmus.com  Go to the link to see more of David Giffey’s art.  David is a member of the Clarence Kailin Chapter of Veterans For Peace and editor of Long Shadows: Veterans’ Paths to Peace which shares the stories of 19 members of the chapter and was published in 2006.

Iconic devotion

David Giffey has spent four decades creating a sprawling Byzantine masterpiece

by

January 4, 2018