New Rochelle Mayor Caught up in Gadsden Flag Controversy Has Long Standing Disdain for the United States Armed Forces

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NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson, currently embroiled in a national controversy over his decision to remove a Gadsden "Don't Tread on Me" flag from a former Naval Militia Armory in the City, has a long history of animosity towards veterans and the United States armed forces that goes back to his college days at Harvard University.

Bramson began his political career serving on the Harvard Undergraduate Council, the subject of ongoing research by New Rochelle resident Ken Lewis who shared the results of his work with Talk of the Sound.

As Vice-Chair of the council in 1989, Bramson supported the Anti-ROTC Action Committee (ARAC) which opposed the presence of the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) at Harvard, according to an article from the Harvard Crimson.

ROTC, which was restricted to the status of an extracurricular by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences in 1969, held a full drill in Harvard Hall on Wednesday.

The article went on to quote Bramson:

"There are no grounds for thinking ROTC will be back at Harvard," said former council vice chair Noam Bramson '90-91. "It's my understanding that the administration would only consider bringing ROTC back if there was no sufficient sign of student protest, but clearly last year's demonstrations demonstrated that concern," Bramson said.

"His disdain for our Veterans today can be seen in his steadfast desire to wipe out our Naval Armory and challenge anyone in his path, said Lewis. "Flag or no flag for me this is a huge red flag."

TORA! TORA! TORA!: Mayor Launches Pearl Harbor Style Sneak Attack on New Rochelle Armory with Midnight Legislation in Albany

With the state government deadlocked in a budget battle as the legislative calendar draws to a close, Mayor Noam Bramson is working with the four state representatives of New Rochelle in Albany to sneak through last minute legislation authorizing the City of New Rochelle to tear down the Naval Armory in New Rochelle.

Six months earlier, the Harvard Undergraduate Council has erupted in controversy over whether to allow the ROTC back onto the Harvard campus, with Bramson at the center of it:

Many council members said that the disruption of Sunday's meeting was an isolated event. Several said that future councils should try to inform the student body of upcoming votes on controversial issues, rather than changing meeting procedures.

Vice Chair Noam Bramson '91 said that the disruption was inevitable, given the nature of the debate.

"I can't imagine it not [getting] out of hand,"Bramson said. He added that the debate "over-all went rather well," and that there was "no reason to change anything."

Last Sunday, Lee said that he did not intend to change the council's procedures.

At Monday's meeting, the two committees also considered putting controversial issues like ROTC's return before a binding student referendum. But most members in attendance said that such amove would be unnecessary because the council had already declared the original resolution unconstitutional.

Before the council gets a chance to vote on tabling the ROTC issue, they will meet to discuss a more immediate concern--the Suzanne Vega concert scheduled at Bright Center this Saturday night.

"Back then in Harvard the young Noam Bramson could have chosen not to join the ROTC but he chose to make sure no one else could either," said Lewis. "Some students use ROTC as a means of assistance in paying for College tuition while some have an overwhelming desire to Patriotism or to service to our Country. Some have had parents who have served in one branch or the Military and they want the right to experience ROTC as a means of honoring those who came before served our Nation and gave us our freedoms. Bramson chose to be sure that option was not available to Harvard students and I believe this helps us understand his feeling towards our Service Men and Women both Past, Present and Future."

Some have questions why Mayor Bramson participates in the City's events to honor veterans, organized by Mr. Parente and the United Veterans, given his disdain for military service.

Commenting on this Blog entry is closed.

Stephen Mayo on Tue, 04/16/2013 - 19:40

Despite my irrefragable distaste and complete lack of regard for his late pronouncements on the "Gadsden Flag Flap," I was completely taken aback by the quotations in the Harvard student newspaper. The present city councilman-at-large and ribbon-cutting ceremonial mayor of New Rochelle, exuded an incredibly unbecoming, smarmy impudence and thorough disrespect for our military even back in 1989. The Vietnam War was concluded (the uniformed forces fighting part, at least; of course the genocide, class warfare, forced emigration and stories of personal and family tragedy brought on by the resultant mass immigration is a continuing story until the present day), Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher were rolling up Bolshevism the world over, and the ever-percolating hostility between uniform and university was uneasily stilled at the very least.

But this bright young man, too young to have personally experienced the domestic violence and hatred of the anti-war period, managed to convey in those few quoted words a profound impatience and lack of consideration for his uniformed cohorts that equals the most pointed and stinging comments of critics many years his senior; Noam Chomsky, Stokely Carmichael, H. Rap Brown, Tom Hayden et al.

I am stuck on the question: What in Noam's makeup and what formative events in his childhood could have provoked such unrestrained hostility for the American military at such a time? (surely "out-of-the-blue" in terms of fittingness for the-then state of current events). Against fellow students to boot, at one of the nation's most prestigious and academically rigorous institutions, presumably carrying a full course load of classes while volunteering extra-curricular time to prepare to serve the nation after graduation for eight years more!

Had he ever had a decent discussion with a member of ROTC or the military? Had he ever had the occasion on his own or in one of his classes to learn the glorious history of the American armed forces from the Revolutionary era to the present day? Had he ever heard from his family or friends about relatives rescued from the cauldron of war or saved from the horrors of the Nazi Holocaust? Did he know that several concentration camps and crematoria were pacified and brought to a rough state of normalcy, if not actually liberated, by members of the U.S. Army or allied forces? Only he knows for sure.

Stephen Mayo on Tue, 04/16/2013 - 19:40

Despite my irrefragable distaste and complete lack of regard for his late pronouncements on the "Gadsden Flag Flap," I was completely taken aback by the quotations in the Harvard student newspaper. The present city councilman-at-large and ribbon-cutting ceremonial mayor of New Rochelle, exuded an incredibly unbecoming, smarmy impudence and thorough disrespect for our military even back in 1989. The Vietnam War was concluded (the uniformed forces fighting part, at least; of course the genocide, class warfare, forced emigration and stories of personal and family tragedy brought on by the resultant mass immigration is a continuing story until the present day), Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher were rolling up Bolshevism the world over, and the ever-percolating hostility between uniform and university was uneasily stilled at the very least.

But this bright young man, too young to have personally experienced the domestic violence and hatred of the anti-war period, managed to convey in those few quoted words a profound impatience and lack of consideration for his uniformed cohorts that equals the most pointed and stinging comments of critics many years his senior; Noam Chomsky, Stokely Carmichael, H. Rap Brown, Tom Hayden et al.

I am stuck on the question: What in Noam's makeup and what formative events in his childhood could have provoked such unrestrained hostility for the American military at such a time? (surely "out-of-the-blue" in terms of fittingness for the-then state of current events). Against fellow students to boot, at one of the nation's most prestigious and academically rigorous institutions, presumably carrying a full course load of classes while volunteering extra-curricular time to prepare to serve the nation after graduation for eight years more!

Had he ever had a decent discussion with a member of ROTC or the military? Had he ever had the occasion on his own or in one of his classes to learn the glorious history of the American armed forces from the Revolutionary era to the present day? Had he ever heard from his family or friends about relatives rescued from the cauldron of war or saved from the horrors of the Nazi Holocaust? Did he know that several concentration camps and crematoria were pacified and brought to a rough state of normalcy, if not actually liberated, by members of the U.S. Army or allied forces? Only he knows for sure.

John D'Alois on Tue, 04/16/2013 - 17:50

So don't support him. Year after year his disdain for veteran support has been demonstrated. You would be hard pressed to find an example of his working with veterans on any level. He has stood at the podium and regurgitated empty platitudes but when the time to sit down and work with veterans, you got nothing. On all too many occasions veterans have extended their hand in the spirit of cooperation to improve this city only to be refused. The story above puts all this into context. It has been his policy from long before coming into public service. At every step of the way, the military gets a big NO. When a veteran wants to fly a flag of significance to the Navy and Marines, in front of a Naval and Marine Armory the Mayor calls it (YOU) "nonsense". He actually turns his back on the military so he can expend his efforts to make sure the condom machines at Harvard are properly stocked.(more on this later, I'm sure). Your military service is second to condom machines. Wow!

Is this the person you want now as the County Executive? What do you thing will
happen to the already too small County budget for Veterans Affairs?
How will the services to veterans improve under the leadership of someone with this record. You think veterans services are underfunded now ( I certainly do) just wait until he gets to pull the strings. Don't say I didn't tell you.

Just as you men and women have shaped world history, you can now shape your future by speaking up. Call every politician you know and tell them to "Stop the Bramson madness I won't vote for this!". They will listen if you speak.

Go get a Gadsden flag and fly it . Show your support for the vets because when the Gadsden Flies, Bramson Cries

Ken Lewis on Tue, 04/16/2013 - 15:46

As the Son of a WWII 10th Mountain Division Soldier I believe our citizens have a choice in how we choose to honor those who came before us. Our freedom and choice comes over the backs of those who have fort bravely.
Frankly I am sorry to not have served our Country but in 1969 when the Vietnam War was raging I was 13 years old. Clearly many in our nation were not in the Military mood. However to deny others the choice to serve in some capacity takes things to a much higher level. To do this in the late 80's and early 90's shows a high level of disdain which far exceeds those who may have protested in 1969. I have family members who have used the ROTC to pay for college and who gave back to our Country as a result.

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