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US Peace Memorial Foundation

 

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

A.  ABOUT THE US PEACE MEMORIAL FOUNDATION

 

A.1  What is the Foundation’s mission?

 

The US Peace Memorial Foundation, Inc. was established to build the US Peace Memorial in Washington DC.  The Foundation will also conduct research, provide education, and publish the US Peace Registry.  Please read "World Peace: A First Step" www.uspeacememorial.org/WorldPeace.htm for more details.

 

The Foundation exists to demonstrate that advocating for peaceful solutions to international problems is an honorable and courageous activity.  It will focus attention on the contributions of those citizens who have opposed war(s) and who have attempted to influence US foreign policy towards peaceful solutions to international problems.

 

The specific goals of the US Peace Memorial Foundation are to:

 

1.   Recognize, honor, and remember the millions of U.S. citizens/residents who have advocated for peace and written, spoken out, or taken other non-violent action against US wars;

 

2.  Design, build, own, operate, and maintain the US Peace Memorial;

 

3.  Publish the US Peace Registry;

 

4.  Award an annual Peace Prize and

 

5.  Engage in fund-raising, research, and education related to the above.

 

It is hoped that these efforts will identify U.S. role models for peace, inspire new generations to work to end war, and demonstrate to the world that citizens of the United States value peace and non-violence.  Please read “World Peace: A First Step”, published in the Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare, June 2011 and available at www.uspeacememorial.org/WorldPeace.htm.

 

A.2  Why haven’t I heard about the Memorial from the national media? 

 

Unfortunately, we don't yet have the capacity to deal with going public.  Before making a nationwide public announcement of its mission, the US Peace Memorial Foundation must build a substantial grassroots organization and infrastructure that can respond to the expected interest.  For example, we don't yet have a volunteer willing and skilled to deal with media inquires.  We hope to avoid national media attention until all of the following criteria are met:

 

1.   Founding Members from all 50 states

 

2.   1000 Founding Members

 

3.   1000 listings in the US Peace Registry

 

4.   $1 million in donations and grants 

 

So, for now, we maintain a low-profile approach speaking primarily to the choir; hoping that the idea will resonate with many and that they will enlist their friends and family.  See the “MEASURED PROGRESS” section in our annual report www.uspeacememorial.org/2013.htm.

 

Our only semi-public activity has been three articles about our work: "World Peace: A First Step” Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare www.uspeacememorial.org/WorldPeace.htm“A Cultural Shift toward Peace: The Need for a National Symbol” Peace and Conflict www.uspeacememorial.org/article.htm; and “Honoring Peace and Antiwar Behavior: The US Peace Registry” Peace Psychology www.uspeacememorial.org/Article2.htm.

 

A.3  What are the phases of the project?

 

The project has several distinct phases including research, establishing the not for profit organizational structure, website design, initiation of the US Peace Registry, initial fund raising ($1 million), marketing, major fund raising ($19 million), planning, approvals, building, and ongoing operations. 

 

The Foundation is in the initial fund raising phase.  The Foundation's mission will be announced in the media when all of its four goals have been reached: Founding Members from all 50 states, 1000 Founding Members, 1000 listings in the Peace Registry and at least one million dollars in donations.  Many foundations reach 50% of their total goal before announcing the fundraising project publicly.  Early donations help with developing momentum and make the goal appear more attainable.  Contribute Now! 

 

A.4  How much money will be needed?

 

The Foundation is actively seeking to raise $20 million from the general public.

 

A.5  When I donate, what will it help to support? 

 

The project has several distinct phases including fund raising, planning, approvals, building, and ongoing operations.  Individual donations help to support on-going activities at each phase of the project.  During this initial phase when our actual work is being done by volunteers, your donation will fund research, printing, mailings, education, phone, government fees, marketing, accounting, supplies, and website and listserv maintenance.  Later donations will help to support site identification, design development, core foundation staff salaries, expenses and office rental.  Planning will require coordination with the National Capital Planning Commission, the Commission of Fine Arts, and the National Capital Memorial Commission.  Building will include the purchase of land (if necessary), permit acquisition, construction costs, and landscaping the surrounding area.  An endowment for perpetual care and maintenance will be required after construction is complete.  Contribute Now!

 

Florida registration #: CH20094.  A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE FLORIDA DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE (800-435-7352) WITHIN THE STATE.  REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.

 

A.6  How do I make a contribution?

 

You can donate directly by credit card or PayPal by clicking here.  Contribute Now!  Or you can also donate by credit card or mailing a check to: US Peace Memorial Foundation • 334 East Lake Road  #136 • Palm Harbor, FL 34685.  Without your-tax deductible contributions, the US Peace Memorial may never be built.

 

A.7  How will financial contributions be recognized? 

 

Levels of support have been established.  For a limited time, anyone who donates $100.00 or more will become a Founding Member of the Foundation.  Have your name permanently associated with peace.  Founding Members are listed on our website www.uspeacememorial.org/Donors.htm, in our publication the US Peace Registry www.uspeacememorial.org/Registry.htm, and eventually at the National Monument we will build in Washington, DC.  Anonymous donations will, of course, be appreciated and respected  Contribute Now!

 

Be assured that the Foundation will not sell or rent your name and personal information to any other organization.

 

A.8  Are speakers available?

 

Our founder and chair of the Foundation's Board of Directors, Dr. Michael D. Knox, regularly speaks to groups.  Topics include: "A Cultural Shift toward Peace: The Need for a National Symbol", "Honoring the Peacemakers" or "Peace is Socially Acceptable".  Each presentation includes the importance of the US PEACE MEMORIAL www.uspeacememorial.org and the US Peace Registry.  In many cases the honorarium (i.e., donation to the Foundation) can be waived for larger audiences.

 

If you belong to a group that is likely to be supportive of our mission, please suggest that they invite Dr. Knox.  He can be reached at Knox@USPeaceMemorial.org.

 

A.9  Are volunteers needed? 

 

The Foundation is heavily dependent on a community of volunteers, especially in this earliest phase of our development.  Please sign up today by sending your contact information and interests to: volunteer@USPeaceMemorial.org 

 

We are especially in need of volunteers for the positions listed below.

 

ADVOCATES spread the word in their community and ask other individuals and organizations to join us.  They develop social media campaigns, blog, write articles, and/or speak publicly about the Foundation.

 

ASSISTANT EDITORS will write and edit antiwar behavior bios for the US Peace Registry www.uspeacememorial.org/Registry.htm and review written materials.

 

INVESTIGATORS will identify potential memorial honorees and locate contact information for people whose antiwar behavior has been publicized in the media.

 

RESEARCHERS will find and document specific references for antiwar quotes of famous US citizens.

 

MARKETING SPECIALISTS will help communicate our vision to new audiences, set-up speaking opportunities for Dr. Knox, identify potential donors www.uspeacememorial.org/Donors.htm, and/or organize local fundraising events.

 

COORDINATORS will perform one of the above activities well and manage others doing similar work or they will plan and direct Foundation activities in their state.

 

GRAPHIC ARTISTS will provide design ideas to help us convey our message to targeted audiences.

 

Volunteers are not compensated for their time or expenses.  Volunteers, however, should speak with their accountants about how to deduct expenses in support of this not for profit foundation.

 

A.10  Why is the Foundation’s mission so limited?

 

While it is understood that there are many other important and related political issues, the focus of the foundation is on peace, defined as the avoidance of U.S. aggression to solve international disputes.  Related issues such as human rights, civil rights, poverty, education, healthcare, overpopulation, environmental concerns, and interference in the affairs of other countries are excluded.  All of these important topics are related to peace, but to keep the mission focused and clear, the scope of the foundation’s work will not broaden to include any other issues.

 

Every issue or variable that is added to the mix makes the project more appealing to some and less appealing to others.  Supporters of a war are often very focused on opposition to a certain culture or belief system, gaining resources, preventing something from happening in the future, etc.  Peace advocates often get caught up in a variety of other issues, many of them very important, but often divisive.  That may be one reason that we in the Peace Movement aren't often successful.

 

The US Peace Memorial will recognize and be dedicated to U.S. citizens/residents who have publicly urged the use of diplomacy and global cooperation to solve international problems and who have opposed U.S. military solutions including invasion, occupation, production of weapons of mass destruction, use of weapons, and/or threats of war.  The US Peace Registry will document the activities of these role models for peace in hopes of inspiring new generations of Americans.  That is the only focus of this project and, if we do it well, it should help to unite the peace movement.

 

A.11  How long will the Foundation be in existence?

 

The Foundation is a permanent institution that, after overseeing the fundraising and building of the Memorial, will maintain the monument and surrounding lands, continue to publish the US Peace Registry, and conduct peace-related research and education to further the mission of the Foundation.

 

B.   ABOUT THE US PEACE REGISTRY

 

B.1  How will U.S. peace efforts be recognized?

 

Personal and organizational peace and antiwar activities by Americans are recognized in the US Peace Registry.  The Registry is published on the US Peace Memorial website and will be printed as a formal publication and made available as a reference book in 2015.

 

Potential registrants provide behaviorally specific biographical information, with supporting documentation, which is reviewed by Foundation staff.  Those reviewed and confirmed are recommended to the Board of Directors for approval.  An electronic edition of the US Peace Registry will eventually be accessible at the memorial.

 

B.2  How can I become listed in the US Peace Registry?

 

Individuals or organizations wishing to be listed in the Registry are asked to provide specific examples of their antiwar and peace activism with related brief biographical information and with supporting documentation (see individual application and organization application for requirements).  That information will be reviewed by US Peace Registry editors.  Those applications that are reviewed and confirmed will then be approved by the Foundation's Board of Directors for inclusion in this publication.

 

We do not want this to become an onerous task or for you to feel that your listing must be comprehensive.  Just include whatever information is readily available to you or a sampling of your actions.  Additional action/behaviors can be included at a later date.  The US Peace Registry will always be a work in progress and a listing can be updated or revised at any time.

 

B.3  Can I nominate a person or organization to be recognized by the US Peace Registry?

 

You can nominate an individual or organization to be recognized by the US Peace Registry.  All you need to do is provide the information requested by the individual application or the organization application and e-mail it to the US Peace Memorial Foundation at the address provided by the application.  Be sure to provide contact information for the nominee so that they can be notified.

 

B.4  How does one update or revise one's own entry in US Peace Registry?

 

If there are just a few additions, send them to Info@USPeaceMemorial.org.  If there are revisions, go to US Peace Registry and copy your current entry.  Paste it into a new Word document and do track changes.  Send the document to Info@USPeaceMemorial.org and a volunteer assistant editor will make it consistent with our style.  We'll let you know when the revised listing is ready for your review.

 

B.5  Some seemingly undeserving people are listed in the US Peace Registry because... (a variety of reasons listed).

 

We do not judge the entire life of those listed in the US Peace Registry, or the consistency of their behavior.  We just accept and applaud any antiwar/peace contribution that they have had the courage to make.  For example, many registrants have participated in or supported US invasions, but at some point they decided to publicly oppose a particular war.

 

Many citizens are reluctant to speak out against a US war because those who do so are often labeled “un-American”, “antimilitary”, and “unpatriotic”, and can suffer reprisals.  Our goal is to demonstrate that advocating for peaceful solutions to international problems, or taking action against one or more wars, is an honorable and socially acceptable activity.  If we can change the culture in this small way, more people will feel comfortable speaking out and the government will be challenged more frequently when it threatens, invades, or occupies other countries.

 

Although we are anxious to honor consistent and significant peace leadership, the US Peace Registry will help achieve the desired cultural change by honoring the millions of thoughtful and committed Americans who have taken a public antiwar stand at some point in their life.  We are identifying a broad range of peace and antiwar activities in a continuum from participating in a single action to devoting one's entire adult life to peace and opposing war.  We recognize a person who, for example, simply wrote a letter to the editor of their hometown newspaper opposing the invasion of Panama, even if they didn't speak out against the 20+ other US invasions since the end of WW II.

 

Any public antiwar act is important enough to recognize, because it demonstrates some level of courage and establishes that citizens are capable of attempting to stop the bloodshed.  We will be successful if we increase the number of citizens willing to engage in such behavior.

 

B.6  I am uncomfortable with some of the organizations listed in the Registry.  Don't you use any judgment in selecting which groups and individuals to include?

 

We try to be nonjudgmental about who belongs in the US Peace Registry as long as the person or organization has engaged in antiwar activities that are nonviolent.  Even if they break laws, the Foundation will document their actions.  We know that many Americans who actively oppose war have multiple detractors.  Certainly every one of our peace prize winners www.uspeacememorial.org/PEACEPRIZE.htm has been condemned by others.  We don't evaluate the effectiveness, legality, political correctness, motivation, or appropriateness of nonviolent antiwar actions.

 

B.7  Braggadocio is a big turn off to most antiwar people.  Convince me that the US Peace Registry isn’t about self-promotion.

 

Braggadocio and self-promotion couldn't be farther from our motivation.  The intent of the US Peace Registry is to write a living history, document human behavior, and identify role models for US peace activities.  The US Peace Registry will help Americans understand some options for action against war.  The specific behaviors listed in each record are intended to provide ideas and guidance.  Role models are listed to inspire Americans to speak out for peace and to work to end the hatred, ignorance, greed, and intolerance that lead to war.  We are documenting specific actions that Americans have used to oppose war.  We suspect that in the final analysis we will have listed several hundred discrete antiwar behaviors.  The people and organizations included in the US Peace Registry are not braggarts or self-promoters, but role models for other Americans.  Their activities are behaviors that others can use as models for action, now and in the future.

 

The US Peace Memorial will make it clear to Americans that opposing war is honorable and socially acceptable, and that our nation has a long history of courageous citizens who have opposed wars.  A national monument to peacemakers can change our cultural mindset so that it will no longer be acceptable to label those who speak out against war as un-American, antimilitary, traitorous, or unpatriotic.  We hope the memorial will decrease the barriers that citizens must overcome before they speak out against a war.

 

The military honors its heroes and reinforces warrior behavior with medals, promotions, ceremonies, and monuments.  This has resulted in a country that recognizes contributions to war and the sacrifices of the military.  People who make valiant efforts to maintain global peace should also be honored.  The US Peace Memorial Foundation is attempting to balance the picture so that more Americans will know that peacemaking is an honorable endeavor. 

 

The current wars won't be our last and future generations need to know how thoughtful individuals have promoted peace.  If those in the peace movement are concerned that speaking about their actions to promote peace will be seen as bragging, they may be missing an opportunity to document their contributions.  We at the US Peace Memorial Foundation think it is important to catalogue these activities in order to educate people, stimulate conversations, and lead to positive interventions for peace.  Please help us to get that message across.

 

C. ABOUT THE ANNUAL PEACE PRIZE

 

C.1  How can I suggest a candidate for the annual Peace Prize?

 

Each year the US Peace Memorial Foundation's Board of Directors awards a Peace Prize.  Founding Members are invited to submit nominations during the spring of each year.  You may read about previous recipients Cindy Sheehan (2009), Dennis Kucinich (2010), Noam Chomsky (2011), Medea Benjamin (2012), and Bradley Manning (2013) at www.uspeacememorial.org/PEACEPRIZE.htm.

 

Here are the details for 2014:

 

1.  Nominations for the 2014 Peace Prize will be accepted from Founding Members until May 31, 2014.  Founding Members are those listed at www.USPeaceMemorial.org/Donors.htm.  If you haven't yet become a Founding Member, please join these visionary leaders by going to www.uspeacememorial.org/Donate.htm.

 

2.  Nominees must be listed in the US Peace Registry.  The information there will be the only data considered by the Board of Directors when making its selection.  If you have someone in mind to nominate, and they are not yet included in the US Peace Registry, there is still time for them to submit their peace and antiwar activities for consideration.  They can do that by completing either an individual or organization application form: Individual or Organization.  Those already in the US Peace Registry should make certain their listing is up-to-date.

 

 3.  Submit 2014 Peace Prize nominations to us at info@USPeaceMemorial.org by May 31, 2014.  Please provide contact information for your nominee so that we can notify them of the nomination.

 

D.  SPECIFICALLY ABOUT THE US PEACE MEMORIAL ITSELF

 

D.1  What is the rationale for building the US Peace Memorial?

 

Please take a few minutes to read a succinct rationale for the US Peace Memorial at www.uspeacememorial.org/article.htm.  This is a short essay published in 2009 in the scholarly journal, Peace and Conflict.  We hope that you will share it with your friends, family, and colleagues.

 

D.2  How can the US Peace Memorial change our culture?

 

Our nation has a long, but largely unrecognized, history of courageous citizens who have opposed U.S. aggression, violence, and war.  The US Peace Memorial will display antiwar quotations by American leaders, document U.S. antiwar role models and activities, and make it clear to our citizens that advocating for peaceful solutions to international problems and opposing war are honorable and socially acceptable activities in our democracy.  A national monument to peacemakers can raise awareness of these activities and help to change our cultural mindset so that it will no longer be acceptable to label those who speak out against war as un-American, antimilitary, traitorous, or unpatriotic.  The memorial and the US Peace Registry will help decrease the social barriers that citizens must overcome before they speak out against a war.  For a more detailed discussion read “Honoring Peace and Antiwar Behavior” which was published in Peace Psychology at www.uspeacememorial.org/Article2.htm.

 

D.3  Where will the Memorial be located?

 

Once sufficient resources are available, the foundation will petition Congress to support setting aside public land on the Washington Mall for construction of the US Peace Memorial.  If efforts to secure a location on the Mall fail, other sites and private land will be considered.  A highly visible site in the nation’s capital is deemed to be most desirable.

 

D.4  What is the target date for construction to begin?

 

The target date to begin construction is arbitrarily set as July 4, 2020.  This is a very ambitious goal since progress is dependent on many factors including approvals, fund raising success, public support, etc.  If the Peace Memorial is to be built on the mall, the Foundation will need to secure approvals from the National Capital Planning Commission, the Commission of Fine Arts, and the National Capital Memorial Commission.  This process will not begin until sufficient funds are in hand.  The Foundation must raise millions of dollars to develop and build the monument and guarantee perpetual maintenance.  Our first step is to establish our financial stability before moving on to major fund raising.  We need to make the public aware of the project and to recruit additional Founding Members.

 

D.5  When will the Memorial be completed?

 

Realization of the physical memorial will depend on how quickly sufficient donations are received.  Until then, the memorial will exist at www.uspeacememorial.org/index.htm.

 

D.6  What will the Memorial look like?

 

Our Founding Members www.uspeacememorial.org/Donors.htm will be consulted about the design.  Two artists’ conceptions have been completed based on the preliminary description at www.uspeacememorial.org/Design.htm.  Alice Yeager’s illustration is at www.uspeacememorial.org/Drawing1 and Beth Brookfield’s work is at www.uspeacememorial.org/Drawing2. 

 

These are early conceptions that may or may not resemble the final structure.  We encourage other artists to create their own vision, based on the preliminary description at http://www.uspeacememorial.org/Design.htm, and send it to Knox@USPeaceMemorial.org.

 

No final decisions are likely until we have successfully completed our initial fundraising campaign – so there is still time to become a Founding Members and give us your opinion!

 

D.7  Why do we need this project? Aren’t there other peace memorials? 

 

Before beginning our project in 2005, we conducted an exhaustive online search for peace memorials and monuments.  The results were disappointing.  In many U.S. cities you will find "peace monuments" that are actually memorials to a war or to war dead.  One example is the Perry's Victory & International Peace Memorial in Lake Erie.  Another is the Peace Monument on the grounds of the Capital that commemorates naval deaths during the Civil War.  Peace memorials in the U.S. tend to reinforce the concept: "you earn the peace by winning the war."

 

Although several other countries have peace memorials that could serve as a model for one here, none are focused on the U.S. peace movement.  The U.S. has some as well, but all are local, not national.  These include the Peace Memorial Park, Portland, OR; Peace Garden at Fresno State University, CA; the Lyndale Park Peace Garden in Minneapolis, MN; the Peace Plaza in Salem, OR; Peace Garden in Harrisburg, PA; Prairie Peace Park in Lincoln, NE, and the Pacifist Memorial, Sherborn, MA.

 

Nothing exists in the U.S. that could be considered a national peace memorial.  There is only one US Peace Memorial Foundation and only one plan to build a national monument to recognize and honor those who have opposed U.S. war(s) and/or proposed peaceful alternatives to war.

 

Please consider joining us as a Founding Member www.uspeacememorial.org/Donors.htm. Founding Members are listed on our website, in our publication the US Peace Registry www.uspeacememorial.org/Registry.htm, and eventually at the national monument we plan to build in Washington DC.

 

Since 2005, the US Peace Memorial Foundation has directed a nationwide effort to recognize peace leadership by publishing the US Peace Registry, awarding an annual Peace Prize, and planning for the US Peace Memorial in Washington, DC.  These educational projects help move the U.S. toward a culture of peace as we honor the millions of thoughtful and courageous Americans and U.S. organizations that have taken a public stand against one or more U.S. wars or who have devoted their time, energy, and other resources to finding peaceful solutions to international conflicts.  We celebrate these role models in hopes of inspiring other Americans to speak out against war and for peace.  Please read "World Peace: A First Step” www.uspeacememorial.org/WorldPeace.htm for more details.

 

D.8  The United States Institute of Peace headquarters near the Washington Mall will include a peace education center.  Doesn't that satisfy the mission of the US Peace Memorial?

 

The US Peace Memorial Foundation is an organization of private citizens who are dedicated to the proposition that peace can be supported by individuals who speak out in favor of diplomatic and peaceful alternatives to war and aggression.  Members are volunteers and funding is garnered through donations.  Foundation members are independent; they include tenured university faculty, scholars, and citizen activists who are free to publish research findings even if those findings appear to oppose the foreign policy of the United States.

 

In contrast, the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) is a creation of the U.S. Government.  It acts as an instrument of the Executive Branch, and its directors are political appointees who serve at the pleasure of the President.  During much of its history, USIP has been run by people closely associated with the military and USIP staff are civil servants who understand that – if they value their jobs – they must adhere to the prevailing party line regarding the need for U.S. invasions and wars.

 

As one might expect, USIP has never opposed a U.S. war or proposed peaceful alternatives to a U.S. invasion of a foreign country.  In fact, USIP staff work in countries we invade as part of its mission to "Promote post-conflict stability and democratic transformations."

 

In general, USIP conducts research and implements programs to support the policies of the administration.  In many ways this is a case of the fox guarding the hen house, providing no independent assessment of the concept of “peace” or the administration’s war activity.  The US Peace Memorial Foundation feels that it is time to acknowledge the actions of peace and antiwar activists in the United States.

 

The USIP facility does not recognize and honor the millions of U.S. citizens who have publicly urged the use of diplomacy and global cooperation to solve international problems and who have opposed U.S. military solutions including invasion, occupation, production of weapons of mass destruction, use of weapons, and/or threats of war.  The US Peace Memorial does just that.

 

 

US Peace Memorial Foundation, Inc. is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) public charity.

Donations to the Foundation are tax deductible to the extent provided by law. 

 

Florida registration #: CH20094.  A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE FLORIDA DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE (800-435-7352) WITHIN THE STATE.  REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.

 

Copyright 2005-2015, US Peace Memorial Foundation, Inc.