Tuesday, April 22, 2008

NATIONAL PIGEON DAY-Pale Male and Lola plus nest updates coming up later this evening.

National Pigeon Day
Cher Ami was a homing pigeon owned and flown by the U.S. Army Signal Corps in France during World War I. He helped save the Lost Battalion of the 77th Division in the battle of the Argonne, October 1918. In his last mission, he delivered a message despite having been shot through the breast, being blinded in one eye, covered in blood, and having a leg hanging only by a tendon. The bird was awarded the Croix de Guerre for heroic service delivering 12 important messages in Verdun.

National Pigeon Day: An Education Phenomenon

Friday, June 13 4 - 8 pm Pilgrim Hill in Central ParkNew York, NY enter on 5th Avenue @ E. 72nd Street
Guest Speakers:Deacon Joseph Dwyer (Cheri Ami - The Hero Pigeon)
Karen Davis, Ph.D., President, United Poultry Concerns
Valerie Sicignano, East Coast Director, In Defense of Animals
(Thank you to IDA who will be providing a banner for the event).
Additional speakers will be announced at a later date.
Speeches, materials distribution, candlelight prayer service and pigeon shaped cookies.
Learn how carrier pigeons Cher Ami and GI Joe saved the lives of more than 1,000 men in wartime.
Become part of Project Pigeon Watch and have fun learning about our fascinating NYC residents.Deacon Joseph Dwyer, graduate of the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey; Ordained Catholic Deacon; Vice Chancellor for Administration for the Diocese of Newark; Board Member for Catholic Concern for Animals.Co-authored “A Religious Proclamation for Animal Compassion,” a document whose creation was sponsored by Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. Deacon Joe speaks frequently on the need for kindness and compassion toward animals to be realized as a core spiritual value. Deacon Joe has contributed stories to Angel Animals and is published on Aunt Mary's Doghouse. Also a certified veterinary technician, Deacon Joe and his wife share their lives with three beloved dachshunds; Greta, Rommel and Spartacus.
Karen Davis, Ph.D. is the founder and president of United Poultry Concerns (UPC), an organization that addresses the treatment of chickens and other domestic fowl in food production, science, education, entertainment, and human companionship situations and promotes the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl.
In November of 1999, Karen and UPC were profiled in “For the Birds” in The Washington Post, winner of the Ark Trust Genesis Award for Outstanding Newspaper Feature that year, and in July of 2002, Karen was inducted into the U.S. Animal Rights Hall of Fame “for outstanding contributions to animal liberation.”Karen is the editor of Poultry Press, the quarterly magazine of United Poultry Concerns. Her essays appear in collections that include Animals and Women: Feminist Theoretical Explorations (Duke University Press, 1995), Terrorists or Freedom Fighters: Reflections on the Liberation of Animals (Lantern Books, 2004), Animal Liberation Philosophy and Policy Studies Journal (Center on Animal Liberation Affairs, 2005), and Encyclopedia of Animals and Humans (Greenwood, 2007). Her essay “Procrustean Solutions to Animal Identity and Welfare Problems” is forthcoming in a collection published by SUNY Press.Karen’s books include A Home for Henny (UPC, 1994), Instead of Chicken, Instead of Turkey: A Poultryless “Poultry” Potpourri (Book Publishing Co., 1999), More Than a Meal: The Turkey in History, Myth, Ritual, and Reality (Lantern Books, 2001), The Holocaust and the Henmaid’s Tale: A Case for Comparing Atrocities (Lantern Books, 2005), and Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs: An Inside Look at the Modern Poultry Industry (Book Publishing Co., 1996; New Revised Edition, 2008).Karen Davis maintains a sanctuary for chickens, turkeys and ducks at UPC’s headquarters on the Virginia Eastern Shore. In 1998, Ira Glass, host of National Public Radio’s This American Life, was so impressed with the chickens he met at the sanctuary that he told millions of viewers on Late Night with David Letterman, in 2007, that he hasn’t eaten chicken or any other animal flesh since.Deacon Joseph Dwyer will be conducting a Candlelight Prayer Service for the pigeons of New York City.
Best Friends will have copies of the Proclamation available at the event.

History War Heroes - Cher Ami and GI Joe

In World War I, a pigeon saved the lives of many soldiers in the "Lost Battalion" of New York's 77th Division of the U.S. Army. This pigeon was Cher Ami. His name means "dear friend" in French. He saved the lives of many French soldiers by carrying a message across enemy lines in the heat of battle. Cher Ami was shot in the chest and the leg, loosing most of the leg to which the message was attached, but continued the 25 minute flight avoiding shrapnel and poison gas to get the message home. Cher Ami was awarded the French ‘Croix de Guerre’ for heroic service.Another heroic pigeon named G.I. Joe saved the lives of a thousand soldiers in World War 2 after British troops had established a position within an Italian town that was due to be bombed by allied planes. Communication equipment was down and the only means of stopping the raid was to attach a hastily written message to G.I. Joe and send him to the HQ. G.I. Joe flew 20 miles in 20 minutes arriving at the air base whilst the planes were taxiing on the runway. G.I. Joe received the ‘Dickin’ medal for his bravery.Cher Ami was a registered Black Check Cock carrier pigeon. He was one of 600 birds owned and flown by the United States Army Signal Corps in France during World War I. He delivered 12 important messages within the American sector at Verdun, France. On his last mission, Cher Ami was shot through the breast by enemy fire, yet he managed to return to his loft. A message capsule was found dangling from the ligaments of one of his legs that also had been shattered by enemy fire. The capsule contained a message from Major Charles Whittlesey. As commander of the “Lost Battalion” of the 77th Infantry Division, his troops had been isolated behind enemy lines without food and ammunition and they were beginning to receive fire from allied troops who didn’t know they were there. Cher Ami’s bravery paid off and just hours after the message was received, the 194 survivors of the battalion were returned safely to the American line.

Cher Ami was awarded the French "Croix de Guerre" with Palm for his heroic service between the forts of Verdun. In 1919 he died from the wounds he received in battle.
Cher Ami was inducted into the Racing Pigeon Hall of Fame in 1931 and received a gold medal from the Organized Bodies of American Racing Pigeon Fanciers in recognition of his extraordinary service during World War I. During a battle in France, the American soldiers found themselves surrounded by the enemy. Then they found themselves being fired on by their own side! They tried sending a message to their fellow troops by pigeon. The first message said, "Many wounded. We cannot evacuate." The pigeon carrying the message was shot down. They sent out a second bird with the message, "Men are suffering. Can support be sent?" That pigeon too was shot down. One homing pigeon was left-Cher Ami. His message was, "Our artillery is dropping a barrage on us. For heaven's sake, stop it!" The men of the Lost Battalion saw Cher Ami fly up-and then saw him shot down. Yet soon Cher Ami was airborne again. Hopes soared. Cher Ami's leg was shot off and and hanging from his ligaments was the message capsule. He also was hit by another bullet through the chest. Still, this bird kept flying. Cher Ami finally got through. The shooting stopped, and many lives (at least 200) were saved.

Cher Ami regrettably died on June 13 in 1919 as a result from his battle wounds, and was awarded the French Croix de Guerre with Palm for his heroism. He was then inducted into a hall of fame and received a gold medal for his service to America. He is on display at the National Museum of American History, Behring Center, in the Armed Forces History Hall. (see photo above).

Posted by People for Pigeons
(Please forgive the formating Blogger has gone mad yet again and won't allow it to be fixed. It just keeps publishing this way. D.B.)

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