Home News Local news Vigil Participants Call for End to Iraq War on Fifth Anniversary

Vigil Participants Call for End to Iraq War on Fifth Anniversary


March 19, 2008 — The fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq drew 20 people to a candlelight vigil in Emancipation Garden Wednesday night calling for an end to the war.
The vigil was sponsored by the Internet advocacy group MoveOn.org,whose supporters reportedly organized more than 700 such vigils in communities across the country.
"Close to 4,000 American soldiers have died," organizer Steve Marshall told the gathering. "Many more have been seriously injured. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been killed or forced out of their homes. On top of all that, people here at home — far from the front lines in Iraq — are suffering due to a slowing economy, and we don't have the resources to help them because we're wasting billions in Iraq."
Marshall read from an opening statement, then passed around printed testimonials supplied by MoveOn.org from military families whose lives have been changed by the war. The vigil participants took turns reading the stories by candlelight.
"For the second time, my husband is serving a 15-month tour in Iraq," said a statement by a woman identified as Mary in Kentucky, mother of four children ranging in age from two to seven. "They need their dad in their life. The oldest has been most adversely affected by these repeat deployments. He's big enough now to know that dad could end up dead."
After the readings, and as Marshall prepared to end the vigil, one participant spoke up, pointing out that the testimonials were all focused on the plight of American families.
"I'd like us to consider the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives that have been destroyed and just have a moment of silence," said Rosalie Dance, prompting participants to bow their heads.
Marshall stressed that the vigil was anti-war, but not anti-military. He has a sister serving as a U.S. Navy officer in Iraq. While Marshall expressed disappointment at the small turnout, he anticipates that Wednesday's rally will help generate interest in what he said will be more such gatherings in the future.
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