Keep Your Helmet On!

Be A Part of a Tribute to Fallen Heroes - Help Build the Fallen Soldiers' Bike
Help support the families of our deployed Heroes - Visit Soldiers' Angels' Operation Outreach
Help Our Heroes Help Others - Click Here to visit SOS: KIDS
Nominate your Hero for IWT's "Hero of the Month" - click here for details!
Search Iraq War Today only

Sunday, August 21, 2005


Another insult to America's heritage at Freedom Center

How International Freedom Center risks fostering anti-U.S. sentiment


A global network of human rights museums is urging the International Freedom Center to downplay America in its exhibits and programs at Ground Zero, the Daily News has learned. The outrageous request is the latest controversy to torment the Freedom Center, whose leaders have tried to dispel the perception that it would be a home for America bashers.

"Don't feature America first," the IFC has been advised by the consortium of 14 "museums of conscience" that quietly has been consulting with the Freedom Center for the past two years over plans for the hallowed site. "Think internationally, where America is one of the many nations of the world."

Those words rang hollow with some 9/11 family members.

"I can't think of a greater insult than to invite museums from other countries of the world to come and exploit what should be America's memorial," said Jack Lynch, who helped carry the body of his firefighter son Michael, 30, out of the rubble.

"If you're going to explore slavery, the Holocaust or women's rights, you should do it at Chelsea Piers or on the East River waterfront - anywhere but Ground Zero," said Debra Burlingame, whose brother Charles, 51, was the pilot of the plane that crashed into the Pentagon.

"After all, it was not slavery that caused the terrorists to attack us," said Burlingame, who has led the fight to bar the IFC.

Under fire from 9/11 family members and Gov. Pataki, the IFC on July 6 pronounced itself proudly patriotic, vowed never to "blame America" and said it would celebrate the nation's "leading role in the global fight for freedom."

In April, however, the Freedom Center said on its Web site and newsletter that it had "drawn inspiration" and received "important practical advice" from the International Coalition of Historic Site Museums of Conscience.

"We have many, many advisers who have given us lots of advice," Richard Tofel, Freedom Center president, said last week. "Some of it we've taken and some of it we haven't - that's the nature of advice."

He said the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia and the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington had most inspired the IFC's vision, and that the new Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Illinois was also offering extensive advice.

The firefighters union already has demanded the Freedom Center be booted from Ground Zero, and state officials have given it until Sept. 23 to satisfy the objections of family members.

Located in nine countries on five continents, the coalition museums chronicle apartheid in South Africa, slavery in Senegal, torture in Argentina, racism in the South and internment of Japanese-Americans in California, along with other historical horrors.

"No one in the civilized world would ever defend what happened on 9/11," said Sarwar Ali, the coalition's chairman and a trustee of the Liberation War Museum in Bangladesh.

"But what happened after 9/11 - with restrictions placed on human rights and the cycle of revenge and the allegations of human rights abuses in prisons - must also be explored," Ali said in a call from London.

Coalition members gathered for their annual conference at a Holocaust site in the Czech Republic in July 2004 - and assailed the United States for "reasserting its power in an arrogant way," the
conference report shows.

Among its suggestions for the place where the United States was attacked and nearly 3,000 innocents massacred: "The Freedom Center must signal its openness to contrary ideas."

Philip Kunhardt, the Freedom Center's editorial director, was in attendance at a session called Bringing Conscience to Ground Zero and was given this advice:

"Help distinguish between American people and the U.S. government in exhibits ..."

"Use reports from human rights organizations to examine contemporary abuse of rights."

"Involve the United Nations, UNESCO and other international bodies."

"Use the museum as a venue for international meetings, where all views are welcomed and considered."

At the conference, the coalition also leveled barbs at the IFC: "The Freedom Center is a caricature of the typical American response to everything [telling every story from an American viewpoint]."

Members of the coalition also expressed these concerns:

"It seems that whatever Americans want, Americans get!" the conference report states. "Is the definition of the 'struggle for freedom' simply defined by the victors, or also by those engaged in
ongoing struggles? Will Americans really create a balanced vision of freedom?"

"The WTC was attacked because it was a symbol of power and influence. In building the Freedom Tower, the U.S. reasserts its power in an arrogant way: Does this mean the U.S. will not only build the biggest building, but also define freedom for the world?"

"Many nonsecular Muslims may be very skeptical about the intent of this museum (e.g. the average Bangladeshi condemns the Sept. 11 attacks, yet at the same time feels his/her human rights have been violated by the U.S.)."

Kunhardt, an ordained Episcopal minister and the writer of the PBS series "Freedom: A History of Us," mostly listened. He agreed with some things that were said, disagreeing with others, an observer said. He didn't return calls.

Tofel said preliminary plans call for an exchange of exhibits with some coalition museums.

"It is hoped and expected that temporary exhibits at the IFC will originate at, or travel to, some of the Historic Site Museums of Conscience - and perhaps vice versa," he said in an E-mail.

Originally published on August 21, 2005

To learn what you can do to help the folks trying to keep the memorial focused on those who died on 9/11, visit
Santa Rita, Guam (Aug. 17, 2005) - The Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS San Francisco (SSN 711) departs its former homeport of Apra Harbor, Guam, to make the journey across the Pacific Ocean to her new homeport of Bremerton, Wash. San Francisco was part of Submarine Squadron Fifteen operating from the Marianas Islands. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 2nd Class Nathanael T. Miller

The Latest from Willie of Soldiers' Angels


from the 6-10 August I was in Garmisch-Partenkirchen (Germany) by a meeting from the KONTAKT Club (German/American friendship club). Since last month we build up now a new KONTAKT Club in Kaiserslautern (Landstuhl, Kleber Barracks, Ramstein). Natalie Behrens, a Soldiers Angels, too, is now a manager from the KONTAKT Club Kaiserlautern together with Angelika Lantz, Public Affairs Specialist, 21st Theater Support Command. Natalie and I we are interested to support each other, to cement the German and American friendship here in Germany and support wounded soldiers in Landstuhl and the Kleber Barracks.

Natalie, Mary Ann, Nita, Rudi and me we are on the weekend from the 26th/27th August with

- 60 backpacks for the National Guard and Marines,
- 25 large sportbacks for the Chaplains Storage,
- 30 backpacks for the Fisher House,
- phone cards,
- microwave food and
- about 30 pairs of shoes

in Landstuhl and at the Kleber Barracks. We say all Angels and Friends "Thank You" for all the boxes (over 70...) which they sent to us. And "Thank You" that we have the great opportunity here to support the wounded soldiers with backpacks and more.

Willie and the KONTAKTER in front of the Army hotel "Edelweiss Lodge and Resort" (I am in the red long coat).

Brig. Gen. Russell Frutiger, the U.S. Army, Europe G-1 deputy chief of staff, spoke to the KONTAKTEr at the USAREUR Kontakt awards ceremony Aug. 9 in Germisch and said thank you for supporting the soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan and the Fisher House Landstuhl program and the wounded soldiers.........

What is KONTAKT? (
KONTAKT began in 1969 as a program developed by the US-Army Europe and the Federal Ministry of Youth, Family, Women and Health. The program gives US-personnel, soldiers and civilians an opportunity to excercise their interests together with Germans and citizens of other countries. It serves as a bridge to overcome the differences of new cultures. KONTAKT is many things to many people. They are people of all ages who live, work or study in Germany. A KONTAKTER is someone who is interested in other people, where they come from, how they think and their language. Looking for the common denominator among all people: to make friends and to keep peace. For more information look at: "Kontakt Club's future looking good" by Pfc. Matthis Chiroux, USAREUR Public Affairs

Yours Sincerely

Wilhelmine Aufmkolk -International President
Soldiers Angels
"May No Soldier Go Unloved"

Check out the SA Germany Blog: Soldiers Angels in Germany
EXIT HERE— A security forces convoy assigned to the 407th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron approaches Camp Cedar exit as it heads home to Ali Base, Iraq, after supporting an operation on Aug. 10, 2005.

In Today's News - Sunday, August 21, 2005

Quote of the Day
"They've got us surrounded again, the poor bastards."
-- General Creighton W. Abrams (for whom the M1 is named),
during the Battle of the Bulge

News of Note
Rocket Attacks in Jordan

Culprits Nabbed
Jordan rocket attacks probed
Video: Rocket Launcher Found

Gaza Withdrawal
Israel moves to clear remaining Gaza settlements
No attacks in Gaza pullout's first week
Sunnis say they've been left out of talks
Abbas decrees settlements for public use
Mubarak warns against isolating Gaza
Palestinian elections to be held Jan. 25

Operation Iraqi Freedom
Iraq Talks Delayed Over Islam

Homeland Security / War on Terror
U.K. Cops: Minor Changes to Deadly Force Policy
London police chief defends handling of shooting
Hamas vows to continue attacks on Israel

Other News of Note
U.S. base closing commissioners question cost savings
War backers start camp near Bush ranch

Fox News
Pope: Muslims Should Join Christians to Fight Terror
Video: Pope Speaks Out
General: Army Preparing for Four More Years in Iraq (that's the possibility of 4 more years)
U.N.: Iran Nuke Claims True
Bush, Armstrong Go on 'Tour de Crawford'
Abbas Sets Elections Date
DEA Busts 160 in Drug Rings

Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq
Egypt Islamist group won't back Mubarak
Tariq Aziz gets prison visit from kin
Saudis try to cut polio spread during hajj
Uniting Iraqi army seen as big challenge
U.N. agency findings back up Iran claim
U.S. soldier killed in Baghdad explosion
Young Catholics gather in Baghdad
Khamenei: Iran won't stop nuke enrichment Associated Press
Gonzo writer Thompson's ashes blast off
Miller beer holds 150th anniversary bash

Reuters: Top News
Bush invokes Sept 11 to defend Iraq war
U.S. concedes ground to Islamists on Iraqi law
Gaddafi invites Bush, Rice to visit Libya-senator

Yahoo! News: War with Iraq
Two War Protesters Injured During March
UN pleads against Iraq executions

Department of Defense
President Thanks Veterans for Sacrifices — Story
Coalition Officials in Iraq Report on Successes — Story
U.S. General Details Afghan Election Effort — Story
Iraqi Forces Assume More Security Missions — Story

Vintage World War II Footlocker Serves in Iraq — Story

Iraqi Water Systems to Be Rehabilitated

Sergeant Major Volunteers for Iraq — Story

Scholarship Helps Sergeant — Story
Man's Mission Supports Troops
Wounded Invited to Comedy Club
Tribute Ride Scheduled for 9/11
Sailors Meet Padres' Pitcher


Roadside Bomb Kills Soldier
Cheney: Find, Fight, Destroy Enemy
Iraq Security Forces Make Strides
Detainee Dies After House Raid
Iraqi Progress Continues on Fronts
Iraq Reconstruction
Iraq Daily Update
Multinational Force Iraq
Iraq Progress Fact Sheet (pdf)
Weekly Progress Report (pdf)

Afghanistan Daily Update
Afghan Reconstruction Group Recruiting

Waging and Winning the War on Terror
Terrorism Timeline
Terrorism Knowledge Base

National Guard, Reserve Update

Al Azamiyah Al Basrah Al Hillah Al Karkh Al Kazimiyah Al Kut An Nasiriyah Baghdad Baqubah Mosul Najaf Nineveh Tall Kayf

Bost/Laskar Ghurian Herat Kabul Qandahar


Today in History
1831 - Nat Turner's slave revolt kills 55 in Southampton County, VA.
1841 - John Hampson patents the venetian blind.
1858 - Illinois hosts the first Lincoln-Douglas debate.
1878 - The American Bar Association organizes in Saratoga, NY.
1945 - President Truman ends the Lend-Lease program.
1959 - Hawaii becomes the 50th U.S. state.
1963 - Martial law is declared in South Vietnam.
1968 - After five years, Russia once begins jamming the "Voice of America" radio program; at 12:50 a.m., Radio Prague announces the Soviet-led invasion of that country.
1972 - The U.S. launches the Copernicus orbiting astronomy observatory.
1982 - Palestinian terrorists are dispersed from Beirut after Israel invades.
1987 - Clayton Lonetree is convicted - the first U.S. Marine to be court-martialed for spying.
1989 - Voyager-2 begins a flyby of the planet Neptune.
1991 - In the U.S.S.R., a Communist coup is crushed after 2 days.
2017 - The date of the next total solar eclipse visible from North America.

1165 - King Philip II Augustus of France (1179-1223)
1660 - Hubert Gautier, engineer, wrote the first book on bridge building
1765 - King William IV of England (1830-37)
1890 - Bill Henry, newscaster (Who Said That?)
1906 - William "Count" Basie, jazz pianist; Friz Freleng, animator (Bugs Bunny-Emmy 1982)
1909 - C. Dillon Douglas, U.S. Secretary of Treasury (1961-65)
1923 - Chris Schenkel, sportscaster (Monday Night Fights)
1930 - Princess Margaret of England (Queen Elizabeth's sister)
1951 - Harry Smith, TV host (CBS Morning Show)

1971 - George Jackson, Black Panther, murdered
1982 - Benigno "Ninoy" Simeon Aquino, Jr., Philippines opposition leader, assassinated

Reported Missing in Action
Johnson, James R., US Army (IN); drowned when he fell in river while crossing bridge, Killed, body not recovered

Budd, Leonard R., Jr., USMC (MA); released by DRV March, 1973 - alive as of 1998

Buckley, Jimmy L., USN (IA); A6A shot down (pilot, w/Flynn), PRG returned ashes December, 1975

Eby, Robert G., Civilian; presumed killed in plane crash

Flynn, Robert J., (MN); (w/Buckley) released by China - alive and well as of 1998

Guenthre, Harry, Civilian (Germany); Communications Engineer in Saigon, killed in plane crash

Hardman, William M., USN (WV); A6A shot down (w/Profilet), released by DRV march, 1973 - alive as of 1998

Morrill, Merwin L., USAF (CA); F105D shot down, remains recovered June, 1983 (Morrill's brother David was also KIA in Vietnam - USMC, KIA 6/18/67)

Profilet, Leo T., USN (IL); A6A shot down (w/Hardman), released by DRV March, 1973 - alive and well as of 1998

Powell, Lynn K., USAF (UT); F105D shot down, remains recovered June, 1983

Scott, Dain V., USN (PA); A6A shot down (bombadier / navigator, w/Trembley)

Trembley, Jay F., USN (WA); A6A shot down (pilot, w/Scott)