Plans for US draft dodger sculpture revived Wed Feb 15, 2006 9:14 AM ET By Allan Dowd VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - Peace activists have revived plans for a sculpture to commemorate Vietnam War draft resisters who fled to Canada, a proposal that had drawn the ire of U.S. veterans groups and conservatives. The activists, who are also organizing a reunion for "draft dodgers" in July, said Tuesday the proposed monument is still needed to warn Americans and Canadians about the dangers of militarism. "It is very important educationally that we have specific peace monuments," said Isaac Romano, an American who immigrated to Canada and now lives in British Columbia's Kootenay region where many U.S. war resisters settled. The plan for a monument in Nelson, British Columbia, was originally announced in 2004, but quickly dropped after it was denounced by the U.S. Veterans of Foreign Wars and conservative media commentators. Nelson city officials withdrew support for the sculpture to avoid a threatened U.S. boycott of the area's important tourism industry. Romano said the activists have not decided on a location for the planned sculpture, and welcomed proposals from both Canadian and U.S. communities. "It could be that there is a group in the States that sees it as an opportunity to remind Americans that they are not locked into the militarism. That there is an escape valve," Romano said. The proposal calls for a sculpture of two Americans, a male and a female, crossing an imaginary border where a Canadian figure is waiting to welcome them. It has been estimated that 125,000 draft-age Americans fled to Canada to avoid Vietnam and prosecution under U.S. law, although about half returned home after President Jimmy Carter granted amnesty in 1977. Organizers of the Our Way Home reunion planned for Castlegar, British Columbia, in July say the event and sculpture are to honor both the Americans who resisted the war and the Canadians who helped them build lives in a new country. Speakers at the four-day event are expected to include former U.S. Senator George McGovern, who campaigned to get the United States out of Vietnam in his unsuccessful 1972 bid for the White House. Romano said the event will also provide an opportunity for draft dodgers and Vietnam War veterans to discuss their differences on the decision to go to war. © Reuters 2006. All Rights Reserved.