On Sunday, November 4th, a special town hall event for veterans and members of the community will take place at Rutland's American Legion #31. The event, inspired by author Sebastian Junger, is a community forum aiming to establish a greater understanding between local veterans and the friends and neighbors they fought for.
In the tradition of warrior storytelling, veterans are invited to describe the pride, grief, rage, or quiet appreciation of life that the war bestowed upon them. Veterans are invited to share what their service means to them through a story, summary of service, message, letter home, excerpt from a war journal, or even the story behind a photograph. Non-veterans are invited to attend, to listen, and to learn.
WHAT: Veterans' Town Hall
WHEN: Sunday, November 4th at 1pm
WHERE: American Legion #31, Rutland, Vermont
I'm not a veteran. May I attend?Yes! All community members are welcome. Only veterans will speak, but non-veterans are encouraged to attend, to listen, and to learn.
I'm a veteran and am interested in speaking. Could you tell me more about the event?Veterans who would like to speak can mark that preference when registering here on eventbrite. Each veteran will be given up to 10 minutes to speak about what their service means to them. Our goal is for every veteran who would like to speak to have a chance to, and we'll do our best to make that happen.This event is solemn and non-political. There will be no question-and-answer period. There will be no debate on the merits or justifications of war. There will be no recriminations or accusations. This is simply a chance for veterans to tell their community what it felt like to go to war. All perspectives are valued and important.
I spoke at last year’s event (in Burlington). May I speak again this year? Yes, veterans are welcome to speak multiple years in a row.
What are the guidelines for attendees? Throughout the event, you may hear something you agree or disagree with. You may have a question. Or you may want to say encouraging words with the intention to help. However, we ask that you please refrain from responding to any speaker at any time. There will be no question-and-answer period, debate on the merits or justifications of war, recriminations or accusations. This is simply a chance for veterans to tell their community what it felt like to go to war. All perspectives are valued and important.
It’s okay to leave the auditorium and come back. This isn’t a performance; it’s a public gathering, and the aim is that it be respectful but relaxed.
Parents: Your children are welcome to attend with you, but when deciding whether or not to bring them, please be aware that speakers will address serious topics and that this is not a rehearsed event.
How did the Veterans' Town Hall initiative start? How can I start one in my hometown?In a June 2015 Vanity Fair article, Sebastian Junger highlighted the challenges of post-traumatic stress among veterans. He suggested “making every town and city hall in the country available to veterans who want to speak publicly about the war.” He believed holding these community forums would “return the experience of war to our entire nation, rather than just leaving it to the people who fought.” U.S. Representative Seth Moulton (D-MA), a Marine combat veteran, hosted the first Veterans Town Hall in Marblehead, Massachusetts, in 2015. The first event of this kind in Vermont was held in November 2017, at Burlington’s Contois Auditorium.You can find links and resources at www.vtvetstownhall.org/resources.
What are my transportation/parking options for getting to and from the event?There is an attached parking lot as well as streetside parking. Also, there is a considerably larger parking lot at CCV just a short walk from the legion. We ask those able to do so to park at CCV and walk to allow those who need to park closer the availability.
Does my eventbrite registration guarantee a seat? Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?Seating is first come, first served. RSVPs are encouraged, and help us plan for this event, but do not guarantee a seat, though we do expect to have room for everyone. Since this event is unticketed, there is no need to print a ticket.
How can I contact the organizer?Please email [email protected] with any questions.
Sun Nov. 41:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Post 31Rutland VT,US 05701