Chekov: Where are the nuclear wessels?When Commander Pavel Chekov asked that question in Star Trek IV, San Franciscos bay area did indeed still have a robust naval presence that wasn't limited to the aircraft carrier piers across the bay. With the closure of Naval Station Alameda in 1997, however, a big part of the Navys presence in the region ended.Now, some groups are trying to pull the welcome mat out from under Navy tradition, that being the annual navy Blue Angel air show during Fleet Week. Performing their aerial magic every year since 1981, the Blues have continued a treasured (by some) military presence in the San Francisco area, honoring the city and region that was such an important gateway, both outbound to war and inbound for home, for hundreds of thousands of military personnel and naval ships dating back over a hundred years.
Anti-War Activists Call For End To Annual Blue Angels' Air ShowSAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The Navy's Blue Angels may not be welcome in San Francisco. Anti-war activists are calling on San Francisco city officials to bring an end to the annual Fleet Week flyover by the team.CodePink, Global Exchange and Veterans for Peace are working with Supervisor Chris Daly on a resolution that calls for stopping the popular air show.Daly says he may introduce a resolution as early as next week that calls for permanently halting the flyovers because "they seem dangerous and unnecessary."The Pensacola, Florida-based Blue Angels is a team of navy fighter pilots that perform high-speed maneuvers. Fleet Week in San Francisco is scheduled for October.In and of itself, this is nothing new. From being THE homecoming port for many returning veterans at the end of the second world war, San Francisco has grown into a hotbed of military revulsion. When a veteran's group tried to bring the retired battleship USS IOWA to the city waterfront as a memorial and museum a few years ago, San Francisco said "NO". If anyone has any question about how many on the city or local government payrolls feel, listen to City Supervisor Gerardo Sandoval, who led the fight against having the battleship brought to the city:
The United States should not have a military. All in all, we would be in much, much, much better shape.
When pressed for an answer of how would we defend ourselves, Sandoval said that was what we had cops and the Coast Guard for.In a more recent example of the turn towards banning any and all things military from the city by the bay, the San Francisco school board last November voted 4-2 to eliminate high school ROTC programs, with proponents of this effort stating:
We need to teach a curriculum of peace., a former teacher, Nancy Mancias
We dont want the military ruining our civilian institutions In a healthy democracy you contain the military. You must contain the military. Sandra Schwartz, American Friends Service Committee
Its basically a branding program, or a recruiting program for the military, San Fran Education Board Member Dan KellyThus far, only about 500 signatures have been gathered for the attempt at banning these ambassadors of goodwill. Hopefully, though, this latest effort to further emasculate the military presence in the bay area wont get any more traction than it has now and the Blues will continue to entertain the many, many thousands who understand and appreciate the sacrifices and dedication of the US military.--Pinch Paisley