This part of the site is ready for us to begin to write the documents, proposals, and ideas that we need in order to make the Soldier’s Home last.

To: Just About Everyone in My Address Book
Subject: Milwaukee City and Citizens to Save the Soldiers Home!

Washington Birthday Week, Feb. 2005

Re: Save the Soldiers Home Vision on Channel 10, Fourth St. Forum, Sun. Night

Dear All,

Treat yourself to Milwaukee Department of City Development Commissioner Rocky Marceaux’s vision for the Soldiers Home when the 4th St. Forum film is shown this Sunday night and other times as well.

The City of Milwaukee can purchase the Soldiers Home Grounds, set up a TIF district, restore the buildings, create high tech, art, and social enterprise incubators, a heritage hotel, housing for deserving veterans, co-ops, and appropriate shops, cafes, and restaurants to create a revenue stream and job development, all at the same time! A tram can connect the Soldiers Home with Miller Park, the Harley Museum, Potawatomi Casino, Walkers Point, the Third War, Downtown, the Calatrava, UWM, and the Bay View Ferry! The Soldiers Home will be the west gateway to the Valley renewed and connected with downtown, old north and southside city neighborhoods, and the Lakefront amenities and glories.

Heritage and cultural tourism in Milwaukee will become one of the 21st Century major industries of Milwaukee, tying in perfectly with our self-conscious transformation from a working class to a creative class, Lakefront City of beauty and history.

Marceaux’s vision of the future of the Soldiers Home is the eloquent distillation of the vision I have heard from the great patriots of the Soldiers Home Foundation, the Milwaukee Preservation Alliance, the NAACP, and other Milwaukee civil society associations that are forging a Grand Alliance that will Save the Soldiers Home for the Generations. Sandy Folaron, Cleo Pruitt, Pat Lynch, Bob Trimmier, Thad Nation, the leaders of America’s Freedom Center, and many more will hear the commissioner bring forth key points each of these early protectors of the Soldiers Home have developed.

God bless,
Thank you for Saving the Soldiers Home!

Godsil

Update on efforts to save Soldiers Home (Woods)

Many Milwaukee groups are reaching out beyond
Milwaukee for partners toSave the Soldiers Home,
starting with the citizens of the communities inthe
Golden Great Lakes Triangle, from Chicago to Madison
toMineapollis/St.Paul/Deluth, to Green Bay, and south
to Milwaukee.
Expanding then to the great cities of the Great Lakes
and upperMississippi
Valley, as far south as St. Louis and over to Detroit.

Jerry Hamilton and Cleo Pruitt have sparked the
interest of the National
NAACP in the Soldiers Home. They have been working
with the military and
preservation liason of the National NAACP to develop a
“Rebirth ofFreedom”
Celebration at the Soldiers Home during the National
Convention this July9–14.

It is beginning to appear that Colin Powell, Barak
Obama, Julian Bond,and
possibly President Bush himself might participate in
this kick-off eventthat Saved the Soldiers Home.

DCD Commissioner Merceaux will be on Public Television
this week when the
4th St. Forum is broadcast.

Mr. Merceaux was exuberantly eloquent in presenting
part of the visionfor
the future of the Soldiers Home.

History Leading Up To Washington’s Birthday Week Announcement That the Soldiers Home Will Be Saved by the Citizens and City of Milwaukee

The “Journal’s” architectural historian, Whitney Gould, wrote a nice story on the endangered Soldiers Home. Click here to read it.

The NAACP’s National Convention in Milwaukee, July 2005, can make a substantial contribution to the renaissance of its host city by sponsoring a tribute to the great multitude of unrecognized minority veterans who “gave the last full measure of devotion” that this nation “shall have a new birth of freedom.” By honoring all those who served, are serving, and are yet to serve, at Milwaukee’s most hallowed but currently neglected grounds, the NAACP can help fulfill the dream that “one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: all men are created equal.’”

The tribute would involve the consecration of a modest monument to Dr. Martin King’s “I Have a Dream” address and a celebration of those Milwaukee students and citizens whose work best illuminates the “great beacon light of hope” and “lets freedom ring.”

The event will have special resonance with the most venerable Civil Rights organization of the past century in dramatizing the NAACP’s enormous potential for the next century. In honoring the oft-overlooked contribution of minority veterans, the ceremony would:

  • bring national attention to the Milwaukee Soldiers Home District grounds, one of the first three that President Abraham Lincoln designated for soldiers relief following the Civil War.

  • help spark an alliance eventuating in a model for adaptive re-use in service to job development, training in skills and citizenship, small business and social enterprise incubators, veterans and moderate income housing.

  • offer a “joyous daybreak” for other overlooked veterans of minority communities, who would be invited to participate and offered help in eventually planning their own manner of homage to their communities fallen heroes

  • provide an occasion to “transform the jangling discords” of our troubled past into an inspiring experience of the “beautiful symphony of brotherhood,” in a city much in need of inspiring examples of racial and inter-ethnic collaboration and joy.

The process of developing and enacting the NAACP Soldiers Home Tribute
offers opportunities for the NAACP as well.

  • the co-organizers of this event will make concerted efforts to link a local NAACP membership and recruitment drive with the process of discovering students and

citizens most creative in contributing to the “unfinished business” of this nation’s promise and demonstrating the continued effectiveness of the NAACP in “hewing hope” from the “mountain of despair” that is currently the shamefull state
of the Soldiers Home buildings

  • the co-creators of this event will aggressively couple the alliance formation process and discovery of students and citizens to be honored with the internet empowerment

of the NAACP organization, its members, and the communities it serves (see www.bucketworks.org and scroll to Mil Wiki?)

  • the NAACP Soldiers Home Tribute to minority veterans who gave the “last full measure of devotion” will offer the Convention Delegates a wondrous and inspiring experience.

The pastoral beauty of these sacred grounds, the chapel, the theatre,Old Main’s “Soldiers Castle,” the elegant residential buildings, the library, and postal office that yet remain will offer soulful relief from the convention’s nuts and bolts work and provide delegates with a great sense of accomplishment and possibility.

The NAACP Soldiers Home Tribute will be the sound of the freedom bell ringing, all across the land. In drawing national attention to this great resource for spiritual and economic growth, the NAACP will make history in Milwaukee, helping its host city move from a self-image as a racist working class city to a harmonious, polyglot city of creative working classes.

In honoring Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” address and the students and citizens who will read from it, in sparking the adaptive re-use of the Soldiers Homes Grounds and Buildings, the NAACP will have once more insured that the fallen heroes from all of America’s great communities, “shall not have died in vain,” and that increasingly in this “new nation conceived in liberty,” it can be the case that “little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk
together as sisters and brothers.”

Written by James J Godsil, based on the ideas of Cleo Pruitt

LettersToWiderWorldReNAACPSaveTheSoldiersHomeAlliance

Last edited by g. Based on work by TeganDowling.  Page last modified on February 26, 2005

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