2015 VFP National Convention Report by Jack Doxey
San Diego, California
August 5th to August 9th, 2015
Many of our members came from all over the country to attend our national convention in the beautiful city of San Diego. If you arrived at night you couldn’t help but notice the magnificent skyline and glistening lights that makes San Diego such a extraordinary city. However the city got considerably brighter by the presence of approximatley 400 members that carried into our town a message of “Peace and Reconciliation in the Pacific”.
We were honored to have Anthony Pico officially open our convention on Thursday morning with a cleansing ceremony. Anthony served his people for 26 years as chief of the Kumeyaay Indians. The balance of the convention was filled with keynote speakers who provided us with valuable information and inspiration to carry our message beyond the walls of the convention. Congresswoman Susan Davis, Ray McGovern, Phyllis Bennis, Marjorie Cohn and Dylan Ratigan are just a sampling of the talent that unselfishly contributed to the success of each day.
The Saturday night banquet was a gala event and our keynote speaker Seymour Hersh praised the Veterans for Peace for their unrelenting work of promoting peace and encouraged us to never to give up the good fight.
We would be remiss not to mention our recently restored ketch, the “Golden Rule” which sailed into San Diego harbor and in the process completed its new maiden voyage. The Golden Rule is all about “One boat, one mission and one incredible story.” Her original mission to abolish war and stop the testing of nuclear weapons in the Marshall Islands still holds true today.
We closed our convention by going offsite to the campus of USD, Joan Kroc Center. The title of the event was: Peace and Reconciliation. After hosting a panel discussion, we all retreated to the beautiful garden area and conducted a bowl burning ceremony which symbolized the leaving behind of past hurts and moving towards a positive future reflecting peace and harmony amongst all people and countries.
A special thanks goes out to our chairperson, Gary Butterfield, from the San Diego host chapter who tirelessly worked to make the convention a success. And yes, from all accounts it was a big success.
San Diego Chapter member