The Clean Fuels Development Coalition (CFDC), the Ethanol Across America education campaign, and the Flexible Fuel Vehicle Club teamed with Veterans of Underage Military Service (VUMS) with a procession of ethanol and hybrid vehicles in the national Memorial Day parade to highlight the role of energy and national security.
Capping a weekend of national remembrance for America’s fallen soldiers, the parade through the streets of the nation’s capitol featured hundreds of veterans with a crowd of more than 250,000 in attendance. The VUMS group represents the highest degree of dedication as it is comprised of veterans who enlisted despite being underage. Marine Lt. Col. (ret) William C. Holmberg, a VUM and a nationally recognized environmentalist and proponent of renewable energy like ethanol, conceived the idea several years ago to team the VUMS with groups promoting domestic alternatives to imported petroleum.
“Our slogan is There is no National Security without Energy Security,” said Holmberg. “Groups like CFDC, Ethanol Across America, and the Flexible Fuel Vehicle Club work every day to increase that awareness. Marching together in the shadow of the Washington Monument, the Capitol, and the memorials helps people get the connection that much the unrest around the globe has links to oil,” he said.
The procession included the CFDC/Ethanol Across America FlexFuel Chevy Avalanche, the Flexible Fuel Vehicle Club’s Chrysler Van, and several hybrid vehicles.
“Under any circumstances it would be an honor for us to be part of the salute to all those who have served. Our generation sees the loss of jobs, wealth, and military cost of importing more than 60% of our oil, and we have an opportunity to do something about it,” said Durante. “If reducing our dependence on oil keeps us out of one less conflict, and keeps young Americans from having to be memorialized, then we should all be working toward that goal.”
According to Flexible Fuel Club President Burl Haigwood, the parade provided an opportunity to increase public awareness that we can do something about it, right now. “With more than 7 million flex fuel vehicles on the road today, if we ran those vehicles on clean, domestic fuels like ethanol we could reduce our reliance on unstable regimes and reduce the military costs of protecting our oil interests,” said Haigwood.
Col. Holmberg’s concluded the days events stating, “Alternative fuel, high-mileage vehicles and ethanol are our front lines in securing a more secure energy future for America, and, by the way, major artillery in our climate change battles.”