Saturday, 20 April 2013

Threat of protest halts ceremony

Threat of protest halts ceremony, The United State Navy (USN) at the Naval Air Station at Sigonella, Sicily has traditionally supported a commemoration of the beginning of the liberation of Sicily and Europe from fascism by hosting a ceremony at Ponte Dirillo near Gela, Sicily.( I attended in 2008.) However, this year the families of the fallen heroes who are commemorated on the tablet shown in the picture have been informed that there will not be a USN supported ceremony. My father is the top name on the memorial and all of his blood line will be going to Sicily in July to celebrate his and all of the liberators heroism 70 years ago. (LTC Gorham earned two Distinguished Service Crosses before he was killed near this locally maintained memorial.)

The protestors are allegedly concerned about the American Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) network, which is aimed at providing the next-generation military communications system to connect man-pack radios with a global network. MUOS IS an ultra-high frequency narrow-band satellite communication network. When completed, it will consist of four ground stations around the world. One such station was being constructed in Sicily’s Sughereta Nature Reserve near Niscemi, Sicily before the construction was halted because of the protestors actions. Some of the local population is allegedly concerned about the possible increase in radiation levels caused by the electromagnetic waves emitted by the system. They fear that it may cause diseases such as cancer and leukemia. The activists insist that located within the Sughereta Nature Reserve, the satellite ground system also threatens Sicily’s unique park that contains rare plants and a cork forest.

Given the USN’s fear of sparking more protests the family of LTC Gorham are reaching out to Sicilians, veterans organizations, and US politicians to organize a ceremony to commemorate the liberators that does not involve the USN. They seek to celebrate the heroism that lead to the defeat of fascism.

This is an ongoing activity and we will keep our readers informed.

No comments:

Post a Comment