UPDATE: Mayor Chavonne's reply, Feb 1, reproduced at the bottom of the post
Viet Nam Veterans have been livid since hearing about Fayetteville, North Carolina mayor Tony Chavonne inviting anti-war types to the cities upcoming “Heroes Homecoming,” discussed HERE. Several forums have expressed our outrage and I am confident the mayor received more than a few email messages expressing such outrage.
Mayor Chavonne has issued a video statement “apologizing for any misinformation and confusion.”
“Hello I am Mayor Tony Chavonne - the son of a soldier and the proud mayor of a military town. I want to apologize for any misinformation and confusion arising from our Heroes Homecoming event planned for later this year.”
“I can assure you that 100% of our focus is on extending a welcome home to each and every one of our Vietnam Veterans and to thank and honor them for their service to our country. Let me be clear that we will not have any sanctioned events that include movies with Jane Fonda.”
“In Fayetteville, home to Fort Bragg - the nation’s largest Army installation – we pride ourselves on supporting the military. We are proud to say that in Fayetteville ‘We watch over those who watch over us’.”
“In November, we will welcome our Vietnam Veterans home. Their stories will touch your heart and it is our hope that our thanks will reflect a grateful America who welcomes them home.”
“I encourage you to take a few minutes to visit our web site at www.heroeshomecoming.com where you can see the full list of events we have planned to honor our Vietnam Veterans.”
“I extend an offer for you to visit us in Fayetteville this November for Veterans Day to help say thank you to these true American Heroes.”
Curiously enough, a reply to a comment I left at BigPeace.com, by someone I believe to be associated with the event, says the earlier claims were “fabricated” by a reporter.
Patriotmeroski: Sir, please check out HeroesHomecoming.com. This will give you a true picture of what is taking place then judge for yourself.
Lewwaters: Perhaps it would be better to have Mayor Chavonne consider the outrage his decision to rub our noses into the anti-war ilk again has caused.
While I believe the original intent was to honor Veterans, your mayor may have tainted that beyond repair.
That is who should be told to “find the true picture,” not me.
Patriotmeroski: Sir, I guess I chose the wrong words. The event never had anything to do with Fonda or events tied to it. A local reporter fabricated a story! From there it spread and we are just encouraging folks to look at this site to see that there are not any events like that in this Homecoming.
The Fayetteville Observer article on the anti-war group being invited, Organizers of Vietnam veterans' tribute to include complete picture of era was published a week ago.
A cursory check of the Fayetteville Observer’s web page shows no retraction from or notice of termination of the reporter over fabricating such a story, leading me to believe it was not fabricated, but that the mayor came to his senses and realized, or was told in no uncertain terms, to disinvite the protesters to save the event.
I still believe the 10-day event was initially created with the best of intentions. Time will tell if the mayor’s damage control is enough.
In the mean time I am left to ponder, what the hell was he thinking?
Mayor Chavonne's reply:
Thank you for your note and your service. I am sorry for the confusion that is out there and can only offer the facts. There never were, are not and never will be plans to include Jane Fonda movies or anti-war demonstrations. Our complete list is at our web site at www.heroeshomecoming.com. You will note that 100% of them honor the Vietnam Veteran. Any proposed events are reviewed by a committee led by a Vietnam Veteran. Only those that fully meet our goal of honoring the Vietnam Veteran are accepted. I hope you have the opportunity visit us again in November and see first-hand the respect and honor that will be bestowed to our American Heroes - the Vietnam Veterans. l Respectfully, Tony