By Aidan Johnson
The Golden Rule, a peace ship operated by Veterans for Peace, docked in Port Jeff on Friday, May 26, encouraging conversations about ending wars, raising environmental consciousness and promoting nuclear disarmament.
Over a dozen people welcomed the vessel into Port Jeff Harbor. As it arrived, crew members, led by Captain Steve Buck, symbolically asked permission to dock and come ashore from members of the Setalcott Nation. This Native American tribe had initially inhabited the land.
Myrna Gordon, a member of the North Country Peace Group and coordinator of the docking ceremony, said plans for the event were in the works for over four months. NCPG had also collaborated with the South Country Peace Group and the Conscience Bay Quakers, among other local peace groups.
Veterans for Peace were looking for a North Shore harbor to dock their ship. When their original plans to bring their boat to Northport didn’t work out, Port Jefferson was suggested.
“I jumped on board and said this is the most beautiful harbor on the North Shore,” Gordon said. “We have a park. We have all the facilities. We have an agreeable government who will willingly accept the boat for a few days.”
After docking, Catherine Green, a representative of Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn (D-Setauket), read a proclamation in which the Suffolk County Legislature recognized the efforts of the crew of the Golden Rule in the cause of peace on earth. Town of Brookhaven Councilmember Jonathan Kornreich (D-Stony Brook) also presented a proclamation on behalf of Brookhaven, establishing the date as Veterans for Peace Day.