On October 17, 2004, it was reported that the town government of Nelson, British Columbia, decided to do the right thing and not allow the Draft-Dodgers Memorial to be built there. However, why did they change their stand? Was it to save their town from becoming a global laughing-stock? Was it a moral decision? Was it because the residents of Spokane, Washington USA, threatened to take their American tourist dollars elsewhere? BINGO! O Canada - we will never invade you as you are so easily vanquished by American dollars! And even if we did invade - how much of a fight would your courageous draft-dodgers and deserters put up in defense?
According to the Colorado Springs Gazette, Civic leaders in Nelson, British Columbia, have distanced themselves from the project. Nelson City Mayor Dave Elliott "said he has received a flood of e-mail and telephone calls since he attended a Sept. 7 news conference announcing the memorial in his lakeside community. There are threats of boycotts by people in the Spokane area, which Nelson counts on for ski tourism in the winter. The Veterans of Foreign Wars has called on President Bush and Congress to pressure Canada to stop the project.
"Nelson City Council members Doug Jay and Ian Mason say the event could damage the region’s extensive tourist trade with the United States. “The involvement of the city of Nelson in this would spell certain economic disaster for members of our local business community that trade with or rely on American tourist dollars,” Mason said in a news release. The story fails to note if he expressed any moral concerns over the issue."
Not all Vietnam war protestors fled to Canada, however. Many chose not to abandon their native land and families. They fought the draft and the government and had an influence. Some went to jail for their beliefs. Some served in the military and saved the lives of their fellow soldiers as medics. They loved their country although they did not agree with their government's policies. They stood their ground for their beliefs. They did not cowardly run to Canada's open arms, and participate in the making of guns, butter, bombs and Agent Orange to be used in the Vietnam War.
However, we all may still attend the Our Way Home National Reunion Weekend, to be held at Nelson, British Columbia July 8th & 9th, 2006. It will mark the contribution made to Canadian life by US immigrants who came to Canada during the Vietnam War - the courageous draft-dodgers and deserters.
Greetings from Resisterville Bye the bye, when you go to Nelson, BC, you do not have to spend your American dollars there for food, gasoline and lodging, if you choose not to, as the town is but a few short miles north of the U.S border.