Memorial Day Observance by Vets for Peace
Monday, May 30th on 8th Avenue by Albert Ray Massey Westside Park
Join us between 8 AM to 8 PM
Since 2007, the Gainesville chapter of Veterans for Peace has mounted a major Memorial Day display of tombstones for each American troop killed because of the US wars on Afghanistan and Iraq. Now that the US military has withdrawn from both nations, and – so far as we know – has ceased attacking them with missiles and bombs as well – the chapter will no longer mount the display.
Still, the dead deserve remembering, and the ending of the display, which required the work of over 100 volunteers to set up has left a gap in Gainesville’s traditions of memorializing the horrors of WAR.
To meet these needs, Gainesville VFP will host an information table this Memorial Day, from 8 AM to 8 PM, at the corner of NW 8th Avenue and NW 31st Street. We will have the memorial directory books listing the names and service information of the nearly 8,000 American troops who died in those wars, samples of the remembrances left by their loved ones, and banners and signs listing the updated Costs of War.
Gainesville Vets for Peace invites our community to visit us at Memorial Mile and join us in remembering some of those, including service members and civilian casualties who lost their lives in the U.S. never-ending wars.
Peace Poetry and Peace Scholarships
Gainesville Veterans for Peace Chapter 14 is excited to announce our 8th annual Peace Scholarship Program for the spring of 2022. We are awarding three college and/or vocational scholarships of $1,000 each for high school seniors, college students or adults with a commitment to activities including: immigrant rights, Black Lives Matter, conflict resolution and/or nonviolent social change.
Veterans for Peace created these scholarships to give financial support to students in Alachua County, Florida who are planning careers in pursuit of a world of peace with justice.
Most Veterans for Peace scholarships awarded thus far have went to first-generation students as well as those planning to enroll in community college programs. Students enrolled in vocational, apprenticeship and career training programs are eligible to apply.
Santa Fe College student Doug Bernal, a recipient of a 2016 Peace Scholarship, is an Iraq War veteran who explains the economic challenges facing student veterans: “Like many newly separated veterans, I struggled financially for quite some time after leaving the service. Unsure of where I wanted to go in life and lacking the confidence to pursue higher education, I found myself taking on more debt as time went on. I didn’t initially have the grades for financial aid, so the VFP scholarship was instrumental in getting me the books I so desperately needed and putting me on a path to a successful college experience.”
Another scholarship recipient, University of Florida student Mariana Castro, an immigrant rights activist notes, “To me receiving the Veterans for Peace Scholarship meant that there are people in our community who truly believe in helping change and shape our society for the betterment of all. There are not many scholarships such as VFP Peace Scholarship because work for social justice is often overlooked in our world.”
Peace Scholarship applicants will also be asked to provide a brief personal statement and evidence of leadership and/or personal initiative in activities in an organization (including volunteer or paid work) relating to peace and social justice, conflict resolution and/or nonviolent social change. Applicants will also need to provide two letters of recommendation.
Please help Gainesville Veterans for Peace spread the word about this scholarship program!
The application (PDF file) must be downloaded from the Gainesville Veterans for Peace website, printed out, completed and postal mailed to:
PEACE SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION FORM
The postmarked deadline for the scholarship application is April 27, 2022.
Peace Scholarship recipients will be announced during the first week of May. For questions about the Peace Scholarship, contact Paul Ortiz at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 831-334-0131.
2019 Events page Link
January 6th Vigil For Democracy
Our January 6th vigil for Democracy was full of enthusiasm, creativity, and community. We are following this up with a Democracy Picket at the corner of 43rd Street and 16th Avenue this coming Wednesday from 5:00 to 6:00 PM. There is lots of parking and space to spread out.
The next two weeks Congress is debating voting rights and the filibuster. Now is the time to write and call and picket so everyone’s vote counts in the next election. Below is a downloadable Voting Rights Fact Sheet to help you write a good letter.
Winter Solstice 2021
Winter Solstice Concert 2021
December 18th at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Gainesville at 8 PM
Winter Solstice Concert Videos
Winter Solstice Concert Photos
Photos By LMcGaughran
Note this is a large file (56.4 MB) and may take a while to download.
Solstice Flyer Click to Download
VFP Chapter 14 Virtual Memorial Mile
This year, Veterans for Peace will be hosting a virtual Memorial Mile to remember those who have died in the wars in Afghanistan since 2001 and in Iraq since 2003. The virtual commemoration viewed above through Memorial Day, May 31st. For more details see and share our Event Page on Facebook or download the information below
Seventh Annual VFP Peace Scholarship
Kyra Powell is enrolled as a Pre-Med student at Florida A&M University
Patrick Warren is graduating from Loften High School and he plans to attend Santa Fe College.
Javari Marquis Seabrooks is a senior at PK Yong Developmental Research School. He plans to attend Santa Fe College in the fall
Scholarship Winner 2019 with presenters Paul Ortiz (left) and Scott Camil (right)
Professor Paul Ortiz and 2019 Scholarship Winner Keely Lutrell, UF History Major
Gainesville Veterans for Peace Chapter 14 is excited to announce our 7th annual Peace Scholarship Program for the spring of 2021. We are awarding three college scholarships of $1,000 each for high school seniors, college students or adults with a commitment to activities including: social justice and peace, Black Lives Matter, conflict resolution and/or nonviolent social change.
Veterans for Peace created these scholarships to give financial support to students in Alachua County, Florida who are planning careers in pursuit of a world of social justice and equality. Download instructions and Application form above.
2020 Winter Solstice Virtual Concert
Oh how we wish we could all be together for our annual celebration of Peace and Light, but we can’t. Still, we will not be daunted! Because we are all “of a certain age” and we are informed that by science that (paraphrasing now) singing is spewing, this is an online concert. We hope that you will snuggle up around the screen with those in your social bubble and enjoy the music and messages that have become so important to us all at this time of year.
This recording of the program features performances including a Cherokee Peace Chant, John Chambers, Lauren Robinson, Bob McPeek, Faye Baird, David Beede, Nancy Luca, Cathy DeWitt & Janet Rucker, Mark Billman, and Other Voices, along with readings by our Peace Poetry Contest winners. And your Master of Ceremonies Bob Treadwater!
Please support the Gainesville Veterans for Peace by making a donation
34th Annual Peace Concert Program
2019 WInter Solstice Concert Program large PDF file (81 mb)
Patterns For Peace International Day of Peace Observance
VFP Chapter 14 members Scott Camil and Mary Bahr Participated in the Patterns of Peace ceremony at the Harn Museum Japanese Garden to honor International Day of Peace.
To celebrate the United Nations International Day of Peace, 5 U.S. gardens have raked “patterns for peace” into their karesansuis. The patterns were designed by Hiroshima artist and A-bomb survivor, Toshiko Tanaka, an advocate for peace. The panel will include representatives from each garden. Come hear about their process and the significance of this project. The discussion will begin with a video of the raking done at each garden, interviews with garden representatives involved in the project and with Mrs. Tanaka. A question and answer session with garden representatives will follow the video.
This edited compilation will be broadcast during a panel discussion which will be held on Zoom on September 21st, the United Nations International Day of Peace. The panel discussion will include representatives from each of the participating gardens (listed below) and conclude with a question and answer period with Zoom participants.
-Fort Worth Botanic Garden in Fort Worth, Texas
-Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, Michigan
-Harn Museum of Art at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida
-Taiyo-chan-en (Little Sun Garden) at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia
-The Karesansui Contemplation Garden in Oak Ridge TN
Veterans For Peace calls for the immediate withdrawal of the Minnesota National Guard. We are appalled to see military weapons, vehicles and equipment once again deployed in U.S. cities to control community members who are reacting to a long history of state-sanctioned violence.
Go to Our Virtual Tour of the Memorial Mile
Note this slideshow does not display well on a cell phone
11th Annual Peace Poetry &
Virtual Awards Ceremony |
Saturday May 16th
Videos of winning poets reading their Poems Peace Scholarship winner announcements:
Peace Poetry Contest Resources:
Peace Scholarship Information:
- Peace Scholarship Flier:
- Peace Scholarship application instructions
- Peace Scholarship Amount is now $1000
Memorial Mile 2020 canceled
From Scott Camil and VFP Chapter 14:
We have decided to cancel the 2020 Memorial Day Weekend Memorial Mile Display because of the CoronaVirus.
Sherry and I have been in self Quarantine since March 13th and we are doing fine.
We know of no one in our VFP family, Sierra Club family, volleyball family, Charter Review family or political family that has the CoronaVirus.
We don’t know when the Coronavirus curve will start to dissipate. We have many volunteers that are above age 60.
We can’t meet in person to get the preparation work done, and we can’t maintain social distancing while setting up the display.
Join us Every Tuesday to picket against War and Militarism
Picket against the war in Iran January 4th, 2020
photo by M.L. McGaughran
Click Here to go to our Flickr album No War on Iran
Time: 4:30 to 6:00 PM
Location: Corner of 43rd Street and 16th Ave, Gainesville, FL Parking in the Millhopper Shopping Center