Fly the commemorative American flags downtown on 9/11 EVERY YEAR.
  • Petitioned Amherst Select Board

This petition was delivered to:

Executive Branch of town government
Amherst Select Board
Amherst Town Manager
John Musante

Fly the commemorative American flags downtown on 9/11 EVERY YEAR.

    1. Larry Kelley
    2. Petition by

      Larry Kelley

      Amherst, MA

In the late summer of 2001 the Amherst Veterans Department placed 29 commemorative American flags in the downtown one gorgeous August morning. Amherst is a quaint New England college town proud of the motto "Amherst, where only the h is silent."

Some people complained about the flags so the Select Board, keepers of the public way, held a public hearing on the night of 9/10/01, only 12 hours before the first plane struck the North Tower.

At that packed meeting a UMass professor branded the American flag a "symbol of terrorism, death, fear and destruction," which the Wall Street Journal dubbed "the ill-timed quote of the century."

The Select Board voted to allow the 29 flags to fly on only six occasions: Flag Day, July 4, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Patriots Day, and Labor Day. In late October, 2001 I went back to the Select Board and asked them to add 9/11 to the short list of days the commemorative flags could fly. They refused.

But the flags did fly on the first and second anniversary of that awful day. Then a new Select Board came into power and the flags were kept down from 2004 through 2008 despite my annual appeal. On May 16, 2007 Amherst Town Meeting voted down my petition to allow the flags to fly every 9/11 by a two-thirds vote, 96-41.

Because of a public relations backlash the Select Board came up with a "compromise" based on the lopsided Town Meeting vote allowing the flags up once every three years, starting in 2008. But when I went before them in 2009 with my annual request -- not only did they not allow them up that year but they changed the "compromise" to once every five years starting in 2011, so they would be up on the 10th anniversary and thereafter on "milestone anniversaries."

Last year the Select Board again refused to let the flags fly on 9/11 and another severe nationwide backlash resulted. So this time around they decided not to even place the issue on the 8/26 Select Board agenda -- the last meeting before 9/11 -- so it could be officially acted upon.

Amherst is now swelling with tens of thousands of returning college students, many of them too young at the time to comprehend the enormity of what transpired that otherwise gorgeous Tuesday morning.

The town allows the commemorative flags to fly on Memorial Day, a somber occasion. 9/11 is a somber day that should never, never, never be forgotten.

Flying the commemorative flags in downtown Amherst EVERY 9/11 is a simply but powerful reminder of what we lost on that terrible, terrible day.

To:
Amherst Select Board, Executive Branch of town government
John Musante, Amherst Town Manager
Fly the commemorative American flags in the downtown on 9/11 EVERY YEAR.

Sincerely,
[Your name]

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Springfield Republican covers town officials rejection

      Larry Kelley
      Petition Organizer
      Amherst Select Board will not take up issue of flying U.S. flags on Sept. 11 anniversary

      AMHERST - The Select Board will not set a special meeting to take up a request by resident Larry J. Kelley to fly the 29 commemorative U.S. flags on Sept. 11 for the anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks on America.

    2. Reached 100 signatures
    3. Meeting tonight of the Powers That Be

      Larry Kelley
      Petition Organizer

      Thanks so much for signing this petition. I go before the Amherst Select Board this evening at 6:30 Public Comment period and would love to reach the 100 mark, so if you can think of any friends or family who could sign please consider forwarding them a link ASAP.
      http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2013/08/amherst_resident_larry_kelley_1.html

      Thanks again for caring about our country.

      Amherst resident Larry Kelley to again request Amherst fly commemorative flags on anniversary of 9/11 terrorist attacks

      AMHERST - Town Meeting member Larry Kelley Monday night plans to again ask the Select Board to fly the town's 29 commemorative American flags to mark the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

    4. Reached 50 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Anita Kanitz STUTTGART, GERMANY
      • 9 months ago

      All countries, which have Muslims taken on humanitarian grounds from war-torn countries, have a terrorism and a security problem. All countries now have a Muslim rape culture and a culture Agitation against Christians. All countries are now confronted with FGM, honor killings, child marriages, forced marriages. Germany alone has information of the BKA of 42,000 violent Islamists, which were few of them in terrorist camps. The terrorists have often indigenous citizenship and the women of the family and the environment cover their backs. The women monitored nobody and that's the mistake. The terrorists infiltrate the country with their hate campaigns, often married local women to residence permits and get a good life. Just why do our governments tolerate what is so obvious. America has the data monitoring program so obviously installed because we Europeans are unable to search for peace and security in their own countries and because here terrorists allowed to move freely with its numerous sympathizers and at our expense, have a good life, that they answered at some point with terrorism of the worst kind, which can be bombings, attacks with chemical and biological weapons. Thats the thank you of them to us. This blindness of our governments must be stopped and these people belong in jail and they must also not taken in our countries, including the women who cover the misdeeds of these monsters and give them alibis. There are cases in the media more than enough. Our Governments need to act otherwise otherwise they will continue to be regarded by terrorists as pathetic cowardly and weak.

      We must save our countries. We must protect our democratic countries of Islamic terrorism! The irony of Muslim terrorism:

      Terrorism is the vilest crime because it robs people not only of their lives, but also of their safety and freedom.

      No one is safe from islamic terrorism, we need to protect our citizens and keep our children a safe democratic country.

      We are terrorized for 9 years by a Muslim ex-tenant and his friends, which have clearly Islamist contacts. No one does anything against it!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Brian Cavanaugh AMHERST, MA
      • about 1 year ago

      I now live in Sunderland. I grew up in Amherst, so did all of my family. For many many years. This is a perfect example of why I am in Sunderland now. You cant do anything Patriotic or get any funding for the 4 th of July parade without offending someone who has only been in the area for a few years at best. Its a shame. A lot of Veterans in Amherst. A lot of them I know personally. If my Hippie friends can enjoy Extravaganja on the Amherst Town Common every year, then why can't we do something Patriotic also. Stop being just so PC about absolutely everything.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Douglas Frederick GATLINBURG, TN
      • about 1 year ago

      I hate to see the TOA humiliate itself more than necessary.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Michael Currie GREENFIELD, MA
      • about 1 year ago

      I would like to meet the town officials in person and tell them face to face how large cowards they are for not standing up for the victims of 9/11. they should be embarrassed of themselves and be ashamed to show their faces. I hope they read this and contact me directly. Because of them, I longer do business in the town of Amherst .

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Alison Lashway Barabe CHATHAM, MA
      • about 1 year ago

      I am an Amherst native that believes our American Flag should be flown, displayed and not compromised...come on Amherst!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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