Patriotism Deemed “Too Political” For MN School

This is just sad. A group of decorated veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are not welcome at Forest Lake Area High School in Minnesota. Their planned visit was abruptly canceled when some parents, and “others” complained, and threatened to stage protests.

“The event was structured to be an academic classroom discussion around military service. We thought we’d provide an opportunity for kids to learn about service in the context of our history classes,” Massey said. “As the day progressed, it became clear that this was becoming a political event … which would be inappropriate in a public setting.

“We decided to cancel,” Massey said. Organizers of the National Heroes Tour then scrambled to relocate the event to the American Legion building in Forest Lake. The visit, which U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Stillwater, had been scheduled to attend, is sponsored by Vets for Freedom, a national organization run by Pete Hegseth, a 1999 graduate of Forest Lake Area High School who served with the 101st Airborne in Iraq in 2005-06.
“I think it’s extremely unfortunate that a school would bow to the political pressure of outside groups and not bring in a veterans organization,” Hegseth said. “Are we saying that patriotism and duty and honor have no place in our public schools?” So far, the tour has visited one school, albeit a private school.
Who are the “others” involved with the planned protest, you ask?
At “Democratic Underground Forums,” there was an announcement of a press conference by various unidentified groups opposing the Vets for Freedom appearance. The announcement exhorted “Veterans for Peace” to oppose the appearance and listed contact info for Massey; school board president Bill Bresin, and the Forest Lake Area Schools district office. The post expressed “outrage” that Vets for Freedom was going to meet with students to “indoctrinate them on the joys of war.”
Michelle Malkin has covered the far left’s war against military recruiters extensively. But this isn’t even about recruitment. It’s simply about encouraging support for our troops.
“We have not endorsed a presidential candidate. We’re not in the business of doing that.” According to the Veterans for Freedom website, the national tour “is about supporting our troops, honoring their commitment and rallying the country to complete the missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It was the “rallying the country” part that had some people up in arms:

When asked whether the part about “rallying the country to complete the missions in Iraq and Afghanistan” could indeed be construed as political, Hegseth said that the group agreed not to advocate about the “progress made in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

We can’t have people running around “rallying the country” willy nilly…causing patriotic feelings to flow, and what-not. This is 2008, not 1942. The idea is to be cynical and negative…blow out of proportion every death and setback in the war, even declare defeat. But under no circumstances should we allow the soldiers to tell their own stories, especially to impressionable kids, if it reflects well on the United States and the war effort.

We can’t have that.

Hat tip: Hot Air Headlines

Here’s the schedule for the Vets for Freedom National Heroes Tour. They’ll be in Kansas City on March 27, and St. Louis on the 28th. They’ll be visiting various southern states in the last days of March and first week of April, and ending their tour at stops in Washington DC, and NYC.

Also covering this story:

Michelle Malkin

Hot Air

Blackfive

Kathryn Jean Lopez

Gateway Pundit

Urban Grounds

Uncommon Misconceptions Hi Geoff *Wink!*

UPDATE:

Powerline has pictures from the American Legion, where The Vets for Freedom relocated for their event.

With only 12 hours to get the word out, IT WAS STANDING ROOM ONLY.

About two-dozen Forest Lake High School students skipped school to attend, holding signs that said “Support the Vets” and “We love our troops.” The outpouring of support from the community in Forest Lake was incredible, and we hope for an even larger crowd at tonight’s event.

Yay!

MORE:

Dan Riehl has discovered a heaping helping of hypocrisy in Forest Lake Area High School principal, Steve Massey. Ugh. Not surprised.


Do stories like this make you want to do something TODAY to help support our troops?

Here’s one way:

It’s called Six Packs for Soldiers. Visit the site for directions.

Hat tips to Patty Ann, the Sniper, and Doubleplusundead.

UPDATE: (3/26):

Hot Air has a report from the Minnesota front this morning.