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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 14, 2005
CONTACT: Ryan Fletcher 202-641-0277
Morrigan Phillips 202-258-1822
Army Reveals Truth around Soldier's Death 15 Months Later, Mom to Rejoin Cross Country Tour of Military Families, Gold Star Families, Iraq War and Other Veterans
Gold Star and Military Families, Iraq War and other Vets bring message to 51 cities in 28 States to Converge at Anti-War Rally in DC on September 24
NATIONWIDE - On September 19th, Gold Star Mother Karen Meredith will re-join the Bring Them Home Now Tour that is crossing the country along three routes from Crawford, Texas to Washington, DC. Last weekend on Sept. 9th, Meredith, of Mountain View, California, was informed by the U.S. Army that it had known for more than a year that her son 1st Lt. Kenneth Ballard was not killed in action as had been reported. The Army disclosed on Saturday that Ballard, 26, actually died of wounds from the accidental discharge of a M240 machine gun on his tank after his platoon had returned from battling insurgents in Najaf. An Army spokesman, Col. Joseph Curtin, said in an interview that separate investigations concluded only days after Ballard's death that it was an accident.
Thu, Sep. 15th - Fri, Sep. 16th
Thursday September 15th
Welcome Rally, downtown Raleigh.If you have a vehicle, consider meeting the Bring Them Home Now bus at 1:00 to form a caravan coming into Raleigh. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for directions.
Media Interviews / Legislative Visits with NC Representatives.
Rally with the Bring Them Home Now Bus Tour, including Cindy Sheehan at Moore Square, Downtown Raleigh
8:00-9:30 (doors open at 7:30) PM
An Evening with the Bring Them Home Now Bus Tour including Cindy Sheehan, at the McKimmon Center, NC State University, 1101 Gorman Street, Raleigh, NC 27695, (919) 515-3211
Gary Zimmerman writes from Sacramento:
We had another major rally in Sacramento on Saturday, September 10th. From 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm, about 250 people showed up at 16th & Broadway to express outrage over the Iraq War and the Bush administration's incompetent response to hurricane Katrina.
The rally also incorporated fundraising efforts for the Veterans for Peace bus caravan to Washington, D.C., which recently took a detour while en route to Washington to help the victims of hurricane Katrina. They brought food and supplies from Camp Casey and the Crawford Peace House to hurricane victims in Covington, LA.
(More pictures below)
Thu, Sep. 15th
Thursday, September 15th
Camp Casey reenactment on Common tables available for literature from various peace and justice organizations
Interfaith Service to Honor the War Dead and Victims of Hurricane Katrina
Grace Episcopal Church, 14 Boltwood Street(on the Common)
Press Conference with area youth and peace on the Amherst Common
"Straight From the Heart, Military Families Speak Out, Sing Out for Loved Ones."
Grace Episcopal Church, 14 Boltwood St.
Local Event Contact:
Wed, Sep. 14th
3 to 5 PM
5 to 6 PM
Rally on the Steps of the Capitol
Local Event Contact:
Alicia Barr, 570-345-4900
Local Press Contact:
The Pitt News
Viewers walk through a mock graveyard, an exhibit at Sunday's protest.
By MARIA MASTERS
September 13, 2005
Hundreds of people gathered on Flagstaff Hill Sunday to honor the victims of September 11, 2001, and to support a national campaign to bring the troops home from Iraq.
Nancy Lessin, co-founder of Military Families Speak Out, said that she mourned with all those who lost their loved ones four years ago.
"Mourn for the dead, but fight like hell for the living," Lessin said.
Central Tour: Cleveland & Pittsburgh
September 11th, 2005
By Bill Mitchell, GSFP
On Saturday a group of us went to Oberlin, a progressive town near Cleveland with an activist school. It’s a beautiful little town – there were lots of community people and some students there, and it really confirmed that we should be reaching out to more college students. The community there has been having vigils every Saturday since 9/11. Saturday there were three times as many people as normally attend.
Afterwards we had a great lunch that gave us a chance to have more intimate conversation with people. They are so moved by our stories, and by our experiences on the bus tour. Everywhere we are going, people are saying – we’ll see you in DC, we’re planning buses! There’s so much electricity – we empower people and they empower us right back – we have a movement here!
South Tour: Atlanta and Savannah
September 12th, 2005
By Dante Zappala, GSFP
It was an early start for those of us sleeping in the RV. Chito kicked us out at six in the morning to take our bus to the shop and get the generator fixed. They changed the starter and the oil and she’s purring like a kitten again.
We didn’t ship off from Atlanta until 2 o’clock, which set us back just a bit. We arrived in Savannah to join Phil and Linda, who were preparing to appear on the Donny Deutch show on CNBC. He was hosting a town hall meeting from his studio in New York with families whose loved ones are serving or were lost in Iraq. Linda was doing a remote interview for the show and we were there to be in support
North Tour: Buffalo
September 12th, 2005
Pushing his granddaughter in a stroller through downtown Buffalo yesterday, Leo, a Vietnam War vet, stopped to look at a banner erected on the square. “Hell yes!
North Tour 'Swan Song'
by Sherry Glover
September 13th, 2005
As I walked in that hot Crawford ditch August 6th, I sensed the cartilage rip in my left knee. By the time we reached Detroit I couldn't bear my weight on it. I had to leave the tour and return home. I'll need surgical repair of tear, scheduled for next week. I envisage myself temporarily 'in the stands' for a short time, and remain anxious to get back 'on the court'!
Secondly, my son in law, currently stationed just south of the Syrian-Iraq border checked in last week to say it would be a few weeks before he could call home again. Now I understand why. The media reports some sort of insurgent movement into Iraq along that border. Communication shuts down when a soldier is killed until the family is officially notified by the DoD so I owe my daughter the support she needs right now, and hopefully it will be only a matter of time until we hear from him again. Meanwhile, Dakota, my only grandchild doesn't know her father's face.
Here's the latest from the Bring Them Home Now Tour:
Coming to a city near you
In the next few days, the North tour will be passing through Pennsylvania and Maryland, the Central Tour will be stopping in New York and Massachusetts, and the South tour will be hitting South Carolina and North Carolina - all on their way to DC - more information to follow about plans for the arrival of all three buses.
Photos, reports and more on the website
Our website continues to grow! We've added a new photo section so you can see tour participants as they make their way across the country. And we have new reports every day from all three tours - stop by and get the latest, including this report from Dante Zappala of GSFP on the South Tour writing about September 11th:
Wheaton peace rally
Submitted by Laura (not verified) on Mon, 2005-09-12 02:31.
I was at this Peace Rally in Wheaton,it was great.I made many new friends and hope to meet many more on 9-24-05 in Washington.There were about 300 people at this rally.Everyone was very restrained and courteous.Why is it only Peace speech that must be silenced? There were also people there that were in support of the war,They made sure their voices were heard.We must keep speaking truth to power,if we do not as a civilization we will be lost.We MUST keep talking about all the lies of this government!Remember the lie about the b.j.? That was an impeachable offense,when will we get the satisfaction of an impeachment for lies told to kill thousands and thousands of people in this world because of this administration? It is time for more and more truth speech. I'd like to give a great big Thank You to Jenny and Matt,What a wonderful way to show your patriotism.Thank You for the avenue and sorry for the heat! If Cindy Sheehan and the bus tour hadn't come to Wheaton I would have never heard or known about the 3 cyclists from the Bike For Peace Movement.It was very inspiring on many levels.It was also my first Peace rally,which I guess says alot considering I'm 48 yrs. old.It was also my daughters first and I am honored I got to share this with her.Someday there won't be a need for any more rallys because we will put an end to this war and all others in this I pray to the Almighty Lord!
Monday September 12, 2005
NEW* BUSH in Gulf Coast: The president was to start the day Monday with a briefing on the hurricane response effort on board the 844-foot Iwo Jima, which that has been a command center for military relief efforts, and ending it in Gulfport, Mississippi. In between, plans called for him to ride in a convoy of military trucks to get a lengthy look at New Orleans' damaged and flooded neighborhoods. He was also touring hard-hit surrounding parishes by helicopter, touching down to meet with local leaders. [AP, 9/12/05]
NEW* RICE in New York, NY: Secretary Rice will attend a host of meetings at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel as part of the UN General Assembly Opening Session preliminaries. [State Department Release, 9/12/05]
From Arthur Ruger
Received this today via our MFSO Pac NW email address. Lietta said she's been handing out our cards. Nothing from Lietta nor me today could ever match what this says.
OHIO CARAVAN WITH… "BRING THEM HOME NOW TOUR"
I am a mother of a 19 year old 3/25 Lima Co. Marine serving in Iraq. One third of his Unit has been kia or injured. In early August after losing 22 Marines in less than a week, fearing for my son’s life and driven by conviction, I began my journey to change the direction our country has been going.
I have been waiting for my son’s safe return before speaking out publicly. There is such confusion in our country about patriotism and supporting our troops while being against the war.
Film: Baltimore's Peace Path
Article Published, Baltimore's Indy Media Center, on Sept. 11, 2005
By William Hughes
Baltimore, MD - On a glorious, sun-filled, late summer afternoon, September 11, 2005, and on the fourth anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy, a robust demonstration for peace and justice, sponsored by “Women in Black,
9/11: The Bitter Lessons of Four Years
By Joe Conason
Sunday 11 September 2005
Standing among the wreckage of two national disasters, it is no longer possible to deny the plain truth: Bush and his administration are unfit to wield power.
It would have been almost impossible to imagine, during the days and weeks that followed the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, that we might someday look back on that depressing time with a tinge of nostalgia. For Americans, and especially for those of us who live in New York City, those autumn memories are filled with rage and horror, fire and smoke, loss and death; but they are also filled with a spirit of courage, community and real patriotism. United we stood, even behind a government of dubious legitimacy, because we knew that there was no other way to defend what we valued.
PAW supports Cindy Sheehan (Poets against War)
PAW supports Cindy Sheehan, whose son was slain in Iraq in 2004. She was mobilized by the recent deaths of 20 servicemen from Ohio, and Pres. Bush's statement that they died for “a noble cause.
Pentagon's 9/11 march criticized as tying war in Iraq to terror attacks
By JOHANNA NEUMAN
Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - On the fourth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, in which nearly 3,000 people died, the nation's commemorations will be as varied as its geography.
In Oregon, a 9/11 Memorial Tapestry will be displayed at the Corvallis Arts Center and a song inspired by the images of that day will be performed. A national grass-roots nonprofit called One Day's Pay urges people to observe the day with acts of charity. New York City plans a ceremony where the victims' brothers and sisters, along with other relatives, will read the names of those who died, pausing four times for a moment of silence - to mark the impact of each hijacked jet into the north and south towers of World Trade Center and to mark when each tower fell.
U. of Toledo Peace Display Vandalized
Markers Erected in Honor of Fallen Soldiers Damaged
September 9th, 2005
Janice Flahiff helps reset vandalized markers erected to honor U.S. troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
( THE BLADE/HERRAL LONG )
By CHRISTINA HALL
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Larry Coleman was supposed to be working yesterday morning.
Instead, the University of Toledo professor helped reset 1,800 to 1,900 white wooden tombstones, each representing a U.S. soldier who died in Iraq or Afghanistan, that were vandalized overnight at the UT campus.
“We think the people who knocked these down are dishonoring these people’s lives,
Mon, Sep. 12th - Tue, Sep. 13th
Monday, September 12th
more events being planned, check back for updates and email contact if you would like to help
Local Event Contact:
Local Press Contact:
Sun, Sep. 11th - Wed, Sep. 14th
Sunday, September 11th
CAMP NEIL Speak Out/Pot-Luck Picnic with Musical Perfomances
Flagstaff Hill (Schenely Park, Oakland)
Candlelight Vigil and MARCH
From Flagstaff Hill (Schenely Park, Oakland) to Soldiers & Sailors Memorial
Monday, September 12th
Truth in Recruiting Press Conference/Protest
Oakland Military Recruiting Station (3712 Forbes Ave., Oakland)
PUBLIC GATHERING to discuss
Truth in Recruiting
Friends Meeting House (4836 Ellsworth Ave, Oakland)
Tuesday, September 13th
One of our coalition's organizational members is planning an advertising campaign and needs a high-resolution photo of Bush with no copy right problems. Do you have a photo you've taken? Do you know a photographer or a good source of such a photo? Or is there perhaps a photo from Bush's AWOL days that's public? Please post here.
Commemoration, Compassion & Community:
A Day-long Fundraiser for the Victims of Hurricane Katrina
Poetry, Music, Film, Theatre, Food
Sunday, September 11, 2005, 9 AM to 11 PM
Busboys & Poets
14th & V, NW, Washington DC
U Street/Cardozo Green line Metro
To benefit the People's Hurricane Fund/Young People's Project and the Southern Relief Fund of the Mississippi Workers Center for Human Rights, organizations led by and working directly with low-income communities of color in the effected areas.
All are invited to bring a poem to read - one of your own or any poem that speaks to you in these difficult times. The organizers will also have poems available to choose from, if you like.
Vote in Congress Wednesday on Inquiry into Bush War Lies
A Resolution of Inquiry into Bush's war lies (H Res 375) now has 70 co-sponsors. It will come to a vote in the House International Relations Commitee on September 14th, where it has the co-sponsorship of most of the Democrats and one Republican. To pass, it needs all the Democrats and three Republicans. The more Congress Members not on the committee who co-sponsor, the more likely some committee members are to vote yes. A substantial debate on the issue is expected. The committee meets in Room 2172, Rayburn House Office Building, at 10:30 a.m. this Wednesday.
Lietta Ruger (MFSO) Bring Them Home Now Bus Tour Daily Notes
by Arthur Ruger [Subscribe]
Fri Sep 9th, 2005 at 19:03:41 PDT
My wife, Lietta Ruger, (she also has a diary at Kos) spent a week at Crawford with Cindy Sheehan in early August. My diary at that time was a series of summaries of what she reported to me via cell phone.
She is now on the Central Tour of the Bring Them Home Now, MFSO/GSFP/IVAW and I've been collecting daily updates city by city. Since I work full time and have limited time at night, I'm using this post to bring you up to date and will try to make same day posts each evening from now on.