Fritz and Jeff talked about amnesty for about five minutes. It was a bad time.
By this time, Fritz was not only relaxed but confident. It was out of control. A cameraman in front of Ron was wiping away tears. Sarah Kovner stood next to me on the floor and said, “Poor Louise, how can she follow this.” Louise looked confident as she came into view. But he was there: not only was he there, but he was one of the most important people at the convention. “I am the living death The Memorial Day on wheels, Your Yankee Doodle Dandy Your John Wayne come home, Your Fourth of July firecracker, Exploding in the grave . Ickes had researched the idea with the Rules Committee and found that there was a distinct possibility that, because of his age, Fritz would be ruled “frivolous and dilatory” by the convention parliamentarian. It could have been London again. He put his hands behind his head and closed his eyes, “Don’t you tell anyone how this happened.”, In This Article: Fritz still looked pale at dinner that night. In March his flat was firebombed by a right-wing British group because it was above a black community bookshop in South London.
The meeting was attended by Harold Ickes, the son of Roosevelt’s secretary of the interior. It was incredibly audacious. Fritz couldn’t enter Manhattan because he would be leaving the Eastern judicial district of New York. His statement was personally moving and incisive in its analysis. Helen Gurley Brown smiled and fixed her hair. “I thought about faking a medical deferment, but I hadn’t had that solid middle-class experience with doctors and lawyers.
He was born in Wisconsin and raised in New York by an Irish mother and a Croatian father. He lost his job as a computer programmer. Fritz had known about the London Democrats Abroad since 1972, and he didn’t like them. He did it again and they started to clap, then they cheered, then they stood up. There were two operative possibilities: one was to speak on amnesty during the discussion of issues promised in the Bleicher minority report.
That afternoon Harold Ickes had missed some of the rules discussions for which he’d worked for months, in order to get the Democratic Committee to put George Wallace’s wheelchair platform up on the podium for Ron Kovic. They wondered if he knew what he was doing. To add to our problems, Hugh Cannon, the parliamentarian, told Harold Ickes that he definitely planned to rule Fritz out of order because he wasn’t 35. . Harold, a man known for his lawyerly use of the English language, reported his reaction to the first credentials meeting with the DNC in defense of Fritz on June 27th: “The assholes. That night the phone kept ringing with updates on his legal status. It would be a cavalcade of Vietnam memories. By two o’clock on Friday afternoon, the 9th of July, Fritz Efaw was struggling with his fame. The GI movement had extended to England because of the large number of American flyers who were stationed there after their first tour in Vietnam.
Six hundred eighty-one delegates had signed our Bleicher petition.
He looked confused. His recent activism also includes advocating for the development of a Los Angeles facility for homeless and disabled veterans. He had never dreamed it would be like this.
As Fritz began his clear exposition of the case of a universal amnesty, Mo Udall, the great liberal hope of several months earlier, got up to leave, dragging his noisy and obscenely loyal retinue with him. Fritz left the caucus at the Waldorf early to attend the Liberal Rules Caucus meeting across town at the Statler. Instead, he felt, "betrayed and could not understand why my government had not done all that it could to win the war." He didn’t seem to see anyone. “Politicians, politicians.
By 7:45 on Thursday morning, D-day, I was up and working on a draft of the speech. With the help of Sarah Kovner and Harold Ickes had come the support of so many of the left-liberal Democrats who had very little to be happy about during the week of Jimmy Carter’s penultimate step toward apotheosis.
Marsh had obtained personal assurances from assistant U.S. attorney Thomas Maher that Fritz would not need to report to Oklahoma until after the Democratic Convention, but an AP story about Fritz that had appeared on July 5th in the Oklahoma City papers had infuriated the Oklahoma authorities. They sensed that Fritz was the cause célèbre of the gathering. If Clark was willing to say something like, “My name is on the indictment of Fritz Efaw” (which it is) “and I’m here to tell you how wrong I was and nominate him for vice-president,” then we all agreed that he should do it. Cab drivers would stare in their rearview mirrors: “Hey, you’re that draft dodger!”. From his wheelchair Ron Kovic has led many peaceful protest marches throughout the decades. And the apathetic treatment he received at the poorly equipped veterans administration hospital did little to assuage his feelings of guilt and regret. I’m sorry I voted for you!” The tears were streaming down her face. had exposed himself to enemy fire. He knew that there would always be segments of the journey he would never understand.
His superiors refused to hear his confession, which only deepened his moral anguish.
Mr. Efaw will be released to attend the convention on two weeks’ personal recognizance bail….”. The signatures for the VP petition had already been collected. Louise Ransom patted Fritz’s mother lightly on the back. It was one of those places that Fritz was afraid of. There were frequent offers of meetings and new arrangements, and the only negative expressions toward Fritz’s activities had emanated from the Democratic National Committee.
By five o’clock, Fritz had received word to go to the podium; he practiced the speech one more time and left. During Christmas vacation of 1968, I announced that I was leaving.”.
Was Bicentennial America ready to have its nose rubbed in the shit of Vietnam — even for 15 minutes?
I couldn’t write my thesis, my money was running out. Four years later, Kovic again gained national attention at the Democratic National Convention, where he had been invited to speak. “I think it’s quite sad,” said Novick, “that after all those years of alliance in the peace movement, that you people can do this to Bella.”. Sign up for our newsletter. A project that had started as a grand foray into political mau-mauing had somehow gone way out of control. Some private memories in a public place had brought three damaged lives to a glorious moment, frozen in crescendo. And the apathetic treatment he received at the poorly equipped veterans administration hospital did little to assuage his feelings of guilt and regret. It’s been 40 years since Vietnam veteran Ron Kovic wrote the draft for “Born on the Fourth of July” and 25 years since Tom Cruise played him in the Oscar-winning film. He looked pained. Associated With. A second Marine carried Kovic to safety through intense fire. Harold Ickes looked at Fritz and said, “It had great dignity.”.