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Thread: Ground Zero Rally Boosts Our Troops

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    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    Ground Zero Rally Boosts Our Troops


    March 31, 2003 -- Veterans joined family members of Sept. 11 victims yesterday at Ground Zero for a rally to support U.S. troops in Iraq.

    "My son was the first casualty of war in this extended war that we're in now," said Arthur Russo, whose son Wayne Russo died at the World Trade Center.

    "And I want the whole world to know as far as I'm concerned, those people - especially in this city of New York - who condemn what's going on show total disrespect for my son, the first casualty of war, whose name is listed on these walls as a hero. They show him disrespect and 3,000 others."

    About 100 people gathered at the mesh fence that overlooks the trade center site, waving flags and singing "God Bless America."

    "No matter what your views are on this current situation, we need to show support for our troops, past, present and future," said rally organizer Jill Pall, founder of Adam's Angels, a group created in the memory of Adam Rand, a firefighter who was killed at the trade center.

    Al Petrocelli, a Vietnam veteran and the father of a trade center victim, Mark Petrocelli, said, "I know what it is to come home and to have people protesting against you.

    "We are not to do that. Our soldiers are over there fighting for us, that we can stand here in freedom, and it is our duty, our honor and our obligation to support our troops to keep us free."

    Several other speakers made the same point about the protests that greeted returning Vietnam veterans.

    Dorothy Wadsley, a World War II veteran wearing her WAC uniform, said, "Vietnam was a mess of a war. And they spat on our returning soldiers . . . They called them baby killers. I never want to see that again.

    "Honor our veterans. Think of them now and welcome them home when they come back."

    Joe Graham, president of the Manhattan chapter of Vietnam Veterans of America, said: "On behalf of our chapter, we wish to express support of our troops.

    "The line was drawn in the sand not in Iraq but right here at Ground Zero on 9/11."

    Meanwhile, San Francisco, which had been the site of numerous anti-war protests, hosted a rally supporting troops over the weekend.

    Several hundred people gathered at City Hall carrying American flags.

    Post Wire Services

    Supporters of action against Saddam Hussein demonstrate at Ground Zero yesterday. The crowd of about 100 people included 9/11 families and war veterans.
    - NYP: Tamara Beckwith

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    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    Jan 2002

    9/11 families meet at WTC in pro-troops rally

    9/11 families meet at WTC in pro-troops rally


    Waving American flags and singing the national anthem, 200 people gathered at Ground Zero yesterday in a peaceful rally to support U.S. troops in Iraq.

    Among the demonstrators bearing yellow ribbons were 9/11 victims' loved ones, veterans and firefighters, who braved wind and rain at the site where many believe the war began.

    "We stand here by the World Trade Center, which marks the first casualties in the War on Terror," said Michelle Boryczewski, of Hoboken, N.J., whose brother, Martin, 29, was killed in the twin towers attacks.

    "When we are long gone, our leaders and our troops should be remembered forever because they are writing history," she said.

    Al Santora carried a large photograph of his son, Christopher, a firefighter with Engine 54, who was killed Sept. 11, 2001.

    Santora - joined by six members of his family - also was there to show support for his daughter, Kathleen Montali, 21, and her husband, Christopher, 23, who are both in the Army.

    The couple is stationed in Germany, awaiting deployment to Kuwait.

    "It's discouraging for them and the rest of the troops," Santora said. "They said they're only hearing news of anti-war protests."

    Rally organizer Jill Pall said the gathering was neither to support nor protest the war.

    "It's to support our troops past, present and future," said Pall, founder of Adam's Angels, the group named after Firefighter Adam Rand, who was killed in the terror attacks.

    Members of the Manhattan Chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America said they want to ensure that troops fighting in Iraq get the recognition the Vietnam vets never got.

    "We know what it's like to eat dirt and dodge bullets" said veteran Tom Fox, now president of the New York Water Taxi. "We had support from our family and friends, but the general public mixed up the warrior with the war. When we came home, we were disrespected."

    Fox added: "We want to be able to say to the troops what all veterans say when they see each other: 'Welcome Home!'"

    Originally published on March 31, 2003

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