With a big ceremony, the restored and earthquake-proofed Veterans Building in San Francisco Civic Center was reopened Wednesday, September 16, 2015. The lively event included a great Marine band and much applause for the veterans, who attended in numbers. Mayor Ed Lee cut a giant ribbon with giant scissors, and among other things promised to end veteran homelessness in San Francisco soon. The role of the building in the signing of the UN Charter was extolled – “on this very stage” the historic event occurred on June 26, 1945.
I was reminded by a friend, Eliz Weinberg, onetime UNA SF Director, that people too often miss the significance of the signing of the UN Charter at the War Memorial Veterans Building.
The UN Charter begins with these words, “WE THE PEOPLES OF THE UNITED NATIONS DETERMINED to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind…”
The War Memorial was built after WW I in memory of soldiers who died in that war, and the UN was chartered to bring an end to war. What more fitting location could be found for the signing of the Charter? Seventy years later we remember. It is up to us to prove that humanity can find the unity it needs to establish peace on earth.
Photo and Report by Roger Eaton