May 27, 2019 1:00 PM | Gates of Heaven [Shaarei Shamayim] 302 E. Gorham St., Madison, Wisconsin 53703
Finding peace and comfort in uncertain times will be a theme as members of Madison area Veterans For Peace host a peace rally the afternoon of May 27, and a week-long installation of the Memorial Mile along Atwood Avenue May 25-June 1.
Main speaker at the peace rally – beginning at 1 p.m. Monday, Memorial Day May 27, at the Gates of Heaven building in James Madison Park – will be State Representative Melissa Sargent, 48th Assembly District.
The Memorial Mile is a powerful graphic display of more than 6,000 simulated grave markers, which members of Veterans for Peace and other volunteers will install along Atwood Avenue at Olbrich Park. The Memorial Mile brings attention to U.S. deaths in ongoing wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere. Motorists and pedestrians are welcome to view and discuss the display for the week it is in place along the busy east side street.
Also at the peace rally, Class of 2019 students from Madison and Southwestern Wisconsin high schools will be honored for their winning essays on topics about peace and nonviolence. Some scholarship winners this year wrote about refreshing new attitudes about working for peace, and the consequences of videos, television and electronic media.
Priest, poet and former Madison police chief David Couper will address the peace rally. Music will be provided by the band Old Cool. Audio equipment and assistance will be provided by Norman Stockwell, publisher of The Progressive magazine.
Bagpipe music by Sean Michael Dargan will end the rally as audience members place red carnations at the nearby memorial marker for volunteer members of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. The late Clarence Kailin, a founding member of Chapter 25 Veterans For Peace, was a Lincoln Brigade veteran of the Spanish Civil War. Chapter 25 founding member and Vietnam War veteran David Giffey will emcee the program.
Rep. Sargent’s speech is titled “Stronger Together.” Among her subjects will be the importance of strong labor, peace, government, citizens’ rights and immigrant communities.
She was born and raised in Madison, and graduated from East High School and UW-Madison. First elected to the legislature in 2012, Rep. Sargent is in her third term representing the East and North sides of Madison and the village of Maple Bluff.
Rep. Sargent is a strong progressive voice in the Wisconsin Assembly, working to raise the minimum wage, provide equitable access to menstrual hygiene products, legalize marijuana, empower survivors of sexual assault, protect privacy rights, and other important issues.
Educational literature will be available from Veterans For Peace at the Memorial Mile site, and the peace rally at James Madison Park on May 27. Free will donations will be accepted during both Madison events.