aa>> Military Museum Queries

Mary Calhoun moriah at preferred.com
Fri Mar 24 20:19:56 JEST 2000


The SAYMA office has received --

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Request to Consider Queries
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re:  Opening of Military Museum
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Quaker House
Fayetteville, NC
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"Dear Friends,

"In mid-August this year a new and huge military museum will be opening
just over the hill from [within 1/4 mile of] Quaker House.  This museum
will celebrate the exploits of the 82nd Airborne and the Special Forces
(a.k.a. the Green Berets).  . . .

"At its recent meeting, the Quaker House board tried to discern ways in
which Quakers and Quaker House could provide a peace witness on the day
of this opening, as well as in other ways.

"We are requesting Friends Meetings who have been supporting Quaker
House to please give prayerful consideration to the enclosed three
queries, and request your Meeting's response by April 15th.  We hope for
at least your Peace and Social Concerns Committee's response, and if
that committee deems it useful, your Monthly Meeting's response.

"Quaker House is somewhat overwhelmed by the scale and scope of this
'museum to modern warfare' which will be our new neighbor, and we
sincerely look forward to your input of ideas and your responses to our
queries.

"We also look forward to your potential involvement in whatever
witness(es) are decided upon.

"Thank you, Friends.

"In peace,
Phil Edmond, Director, Quaker House
223 Hillside Ave, Fayetteville NC 28301, 910-323-3912

"PS:  If it is simpler, please feel free to e-mail responses to
quakrhse at foto.infi.net (please not: there is no 'e' in quakr in the
address!)

<|>  "Queries from Quaker House re: opening of military museum

". . . This 'modern temple to warfare' will take up 6.5 acres [in
downtown Fayetteville] and ... include interactive displays telling
'stories of bravery, sacrifice and victory.'  It will also house a
250-seat [movie] theater showing ... units in action.  Nothing
symbolizes better the disproportionate resources designated [for] ...
warfare ... and peace than ... this 59,000 square foot behemoth beside
the modest quarters of Quaker House.

"Quaker House has always been 'in the belly of the beast' as it were.
We have felt it important to maintain a presence on the doorstep of
45,000 troops....  In the new museum's back courtyard there will be a
contemplation garden:  a place where people can quietly reflect.  A
walkway in the garden will be composed of engraved paving stones
sponsored by different organizations and religious groups.

"The Quaker House board is considering whether Quaker House should
sponsor one of these paving stones in order to have a message of peace
forever inserted ... where it will be read by thousands who visit the
museum.  . . .   Under consideration is a 24" x 24" paving stone which
would cost $1250.  The cost would not come from our regular funds, but
be done solely through special contributions.

<|>  Query 1:  The board has a valid concern that even if paid for
outside of its normal operating budget, Quakers might not like to see
Quaker House funding such a stone, perhaps perceiving it to publicly
suggest support of the museum itself.  How do Friends feel about Quaker
House sponsoring a stone in the contemplation garden of this museum?

<|>  Query 2:  If seen as an appropriate activity for Quaker House, what
are some challenging peace or Biblical sayings for a paving stone?  (We
are limited to 250 characters inclusive of spaces and sponsor name.)  Is
your Meeting willing to make a special donation?

The Quaker House board wants to have a witness (not a protest) on the
day of the museum opening, and we would like to hear from Meetings as to
what could be an appropriate Quaker response.  Some ideas include
holding a Meeting for Worship to remember all those who die in wars,
and/or having a silent presence opposite the museum.  We seek your
input, as well as your Meeting's involvement in whatever appropriate
Quaker witness is decided upon.

<|>  Query 3:  What might be an appropriate Quaker witness on the day of
the museum opening?

[Quotes from a Museum Foundation pamphlet]

-- "The primary purpose of the museum will be ... to teach about ...
core values, sacrifices, courage, devotion to duty, and exploits ...."
-- "Artifact Preservation/Conservation/Exhibit Preparation facility
7,000 sq ft"
-- "... expected to bring in 250,00 visitors the first year . . . [and]
have an estimated $60,000,000/year economic impact."

[  ~~~end~~~  ]
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