Some time ago I sent an e-mail to the Chamber of Commerce of Nelson Canada to tell them what I thought of the plan to erect a monument to American cowards. After reading of the town of Nelson's decision to invite the promoters of the draft dodger monument to take their bullshit elsewhere, I wrote to express my appreciation of their action. ----- Original Message ----- Some time ago I sent you a rather irritated message protesting the monument to American Viet Nam war draft dodgers which was proposed to be erected in Nelson. Now I understand that your city government has decided not to allow this travesty to be placed in Nelson. I applaud your judgment and thank you for refusing to be a party to heaping another indignity on those Americans who served in Viet Nam when their country called. Viet Nam veterans have borne the blame for a questionable policy foisted on them by their government. They do not deserve to have yet another insult thrown in their faces. Again, thanks for your decision and I shall circulate this item among my veteran colleagues. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ I received the following reply in less than thirty minutes. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Good Day, We've been very busy over the past week or so dealing with this entire "memorial" issue. Thank you for taking the time to send us your thoughts. Below, please find the position now formally adopted by Nelson City Council and the Nelson & District Chamber of Commerce. Nelson really is a special place, and we hope that the ill-will that has been caused by the actions of a few people (ex-patriot Americans no less) does not cause you to think poorly of our community. Thanks again for taking the time to share your comments. Best, Roy Roy Heuckendorff, Executive Director Nelson & District Chamber of Commerce 225 Hall Street Nelson BC V1L 5X4 Office: (250) 352-3433 Cell: (250) 505-3888 Fax: (250) 352-6355 Email: email@example.com Joint Statement: The City of Nelson and the Nelson & District Chamber of Commerce are issuing this joint statement in order to help quell the controversy that has erupted over the plans of the Our Way Home committee to possibly erect a monument to war resisters in the City of Nelson. The Our Way Home initiative is being sponsored in part by a small group of people who live in the Nelson area and has not been endorsed by any public body. In a special meeting held on Wednesday, September 29, 2004, Nelson City Council passed a resolution stating that neither public funds nor public property will be used to assist in the development of monuments, or other such symbolic structures, that may be seen as highly divisive in nature. The Chamber of Commerce has adopted a similar stance. Both the City of Nelson and the Chamber of Commerce recognize that lawful freedom of expression is a right for which many people have fought and died in wars on behalf of their country, but this right must be exercised with discretion where the public good is concerned. Simply put, it would be a misuse of public funds and public property to pursue a monument that does not have widespread community support. The Our Way Home monument does not meet the "widespread community support" standard. The City of Nelson is a tolerant, diverse community, and we encourage one and all to visit and discover what a fine place it truly is. For more information concerning the position taken by the Nelson & District Chamber of Commerce, please phone (250) 352-3433 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information concerning the position taken by the City of Nelson, please phone (250) 352-8263 or email email@example.com. For questions or comments concerning the Our Way Home initiative please contact coordinator Isaac Romano at (250) 229-4002 or visit www.ourwayhomereunion.com. Nelson & District Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Info Centre 225 Hall Street Nelson, BC V1L 5X4 Phone:250-352-3433 Fax:250-352-6355 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.discovernelson.com +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ You win some, you lose some. In this case, I believe that the town of Nelson, Canada and Viet Nam veterans all came out ahead.