Letters in Support
Links to additional letters:
From Patricia A. Lynch, Harvest Graphics
Jerry Ann Hamilton, President
2745 N. Martin Luther King Dr.
Milwaukee, WI 53212
Dear Ms. Hamilton:
After an informative and inspiring presentation by Ms. Cleo Pruitt at the recent meeting of our Board of Directors, the Soldiers Home Foundation is pleased to offer its support for the concept of an inclusive celebration of our nation’s veterans at the National Soldiers Home Historic District, Milwaukee, during the 2005 National Convention.
These are sacred buildings grounds that our organization and the Greater Milwaukee community are trying to preserve and protect. They have their origin in the response of our nation to its soldiers during the closing days of the Civil War. They are intimately linked to President Abraham Lincoln who signed the Soldiers Home legislation on March 3, 1865, purportedly the last piece of legislation he signed before his assassination. The vision and perseverance of Wisconsin citizens was key to locating one of the three original branches of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers on one of the most scenic sites in Milwaukee.
The National Home — now the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center — has proudly served veterans on these grounds since the first soldiers were welcomed in 1867. And our country’s veterans have their eternal rest in Wood National Cemetery, one of the largest National Cemeteries in the United States. Soldiers are buried here from every conflict except the Revolutionary War, and include members of the 54th Massachusetts, Buffalo Soldiers and, most recently, Adrian Soltau, a 21-year-old Marine who died in an explosion in Iraq on September 13, 2004.
As community members rediscover the beauty and peacefulness of this place, especially during a time of war, we think it fitting that we take time to come together to remember and take courage from the men and women who made inestimable sacrifices for our freedom. We hope you will call upon us if you decide to plan a commemoration at the Soldiers Home and urge you to contact Mr. Glen Grippen, VA Medical Center Director, as soon as possible. We hope the NAACP Convention will serve your delegates well and inspire the entire community.
Patricia A. Lynch
5830 S. 92nd St.
Hales Corners, WI 53130–2219
Godsil Letter to Folaron and Pruitt Proposing NAACP Save the Soldiers Home Wiki Website Experiment
I would like to place this on the Wiki site at
Were you to click on to that page you would see some prose I wrote. I would very much appreciate your reading that prose and adding to it, improving it, arguing about it. We would eventually clean it up enough that we send it forth to widening circles of publics.
To make changes at that site, all you have to do is go to the top of the page and click “edit.”
A new page will appear. Type on that page following the rules at the bottom of the page. Call me at 232 1336 if you need help deciphering those rules. (If you really want to learn how to do this, James Carlson will give great 1 hour lessons for $15 per person if there are a minimum of about 7 for the group. Tegan may offer lessons, with James as backup master, as well. I am happy to teach you in real space for the joy of it :)
I would like to invite others to participate in this experiment aiming to spark, starting at the Soldiers Home, “A New Birth of Freedom: Honoring Those Who Served, Are Serving, and Are Yet to Serve.” (go to www.bucketworks.org and do a search for Cleo Pruitt to find this document)
I would like to invite Tegan Dowling, a leader of the Bay View Neighborhood Association and Web Page Creator, James S. Carlson, founder and executive director of Bucketworks, Megan Godsil, Knowledge Worker for Bucketworks, Timbuktu, and the Milwaukee Renaissance, and others I’ll bring up as time goes on.
I would like to invite 10,000 Milwaukee citizens to empower themselves with e-mail, yahoo group, and wiki web software, and commit to:
- making the NAACP National Convention, Milwaukee Summer 2005, a great success
- saving the Soldiers Home
- develop a spectacularly successful Knowledge Worker and Creative Class Development Project that:
- conducts a successful membership drive for the NAACP leading up to the Convention
- harnesses the internet to spark that membership drive
- empowers a number of young and old Milwaukeeans for e-mail, yahoo group, and wiki web page competencies
- collaborates with Bucketworks and Timbuktu to create knowledge worker work stations to advance the NAACP membership drive and welcome the National NAACP Conventioneers
- finds so much success in this NAACP membership drive that the dream of moving Dr. King’s statue on MLK from an obscure location that has no place for large or even small public gatherings to a lovely park at the entrance to Martin Luther King Dr. is not Utopian. In fact, the vision James Carlson created on the pages of the Bucketworks web site would find this Public Park for Dr. King’s Statue and for Public Gatherings to advance a new birth of freedom would also find the Bucketworks Building transformed into a community resource for the cultivation of Milwaukee’s knowledge worker and creative working classes.
I would hope that you might consider inviting some of your friends and allies to join in here. If someone would step forward, we could make a separate Wiki page on the Save the Soldiers Home Alliance.
James Carlson hopes that the statue of Dr. King be relocated to the entrance corner where Old World Third St. changes to Dr. Martin Luther King Dr. He envisions of public square for Dr. King’s statue and a Public Interest Consortium of some sort to buy the Bucketworks/Mandel Building.
Tegan Dowling is building great wiki web site mastery and may be available as a just in time consultant, in partnership with James Carlson and whatever knowledge worker team they assemble.
Megan Godsil is working with Omar Gagale of Timbuktu, James Carlson of Bucketworks, and James Godsil of the Milwaukee Renaissance to spark collaborations among these three groups for
- NAACP/Community Alliance Group
- “A New Birth of Freedom”
- at the Soldiers Home
- during the National Convention of the NAACP
Godsil Invitation to Join On-Line Conversation to Save the Soldiers Home and Welcome the NAACP National Convention to Milwaukee, July 9–14 and/or Make a Film on This
Please consider being one of many Milwaukee citizens to participate in an on-line conversation about welcoming the NAACP National Convention Save the Soldiers Home Tribute this Summer, sometime between July 9 and July 14. Please send an e-mail to Godsil@MilwaukeeRenaissance if you would like to join in. Or call 232 1336. Starting this winter, there will be internet training work stations at Timbuktu in Riverwest and Bucketworks* downtown to teach Milwaukee citizens, young and old, how to harness the power of the internet for worthy causes like this.
This event, if the NAACP National Leadership approves it, will present Milwaukee at its best before the nation, televised by CNN.
Cleo Pruitt’s NAACP Save the Soldiers Home Tribute Vision: “A New Birth of Freedom”
The NAACP is the nation’s most venerable civil rights organization. Its local leaders, Jerry Ann Hamilton, President, and Tony Fikes, First Vice President, held a blue ribbon meeting yesterday at the Soldiers Home Wadsworth Library, to hear Cleo Pruitt’s presentation on a New Birth of Freedom Soldiers Home Tribute for the 10,000 NAACP Conventioneers to visit our fair city this summer. Sandy Folaron, Laura Rinaldi, and Patricia Lynch have also made great strides in alerting the city to the danger and the enormous potential of these arrestingly beautiful sacred grounds and buildings.
Please consider becoming part of a welcoming group for the NAACP Save the Soldiers Home Tribute. We hope to set up a yahoo group called something like NAACP@The Soldiers Home if enough citizens respond to this appeal.
See http://www.MilwaukeeRenaissance.com/NAACPSoldiersHome for more on this.
Here is a great picture of Cleo Pruitt, Jerry Ann Hamilton, and Tony Fikes at the Soldiers Home
Why Save the Soldiers Home?
In Saving the Soldiers Home, we will be, in large part, saving the most sacred grounds and buildings of our fair city. The Soldiers Home is where our elders are buried, who gave the last full measure of devotion, that this new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal, shall last…that government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the face of the earth. Democracy is a new human invention. It has not been enjoyed for long by most of our citizens. It must be won anew each generation. Each presidency must be carefully checked by the voice of the sovereign of our nation…we citizens. We are not authentic citizens worthy of democratic rights if we do not preserve the hallowed burial grounds of those who died protecting our freedoms. It is our children’s birthright to witness the haunting beauty and glory of the Soldiers Home.
Why Welcome the National NAACP Conventioneers?
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.”