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Join a vigil tonight in your community

Click below to select from more than 1,400 vigils nationwide.

Dear MoveOn member,

Last September Melanie House of Simi Valley, California was the proud wife of Petty Officer 3rd Class John House, who was deployed to Iraq as a Navy medical corpsman. Eight months ago, on January 26, she became a widow at age 27 when John House died in Iraq. This week, after hearing the story of Cindy Sheehan, Melanie signed up to organize one of 1,400 vigils scheduled for tonight to honor her husband and the sacrifices of all who have died in Iraq.

Tonight at 7:30, thousands of us will gather solemnly to express our concern about the war. You can find a Vigil for Cindy Sheehan (and Melanie and all military families) near you by clicking on the link below.

Vigils for Cindy Sheehan
7:30 PM Tonight, Wednesday, August 17th
Please join us.

Last night I spoke with Melanie about her decision to get involved. Here is some of what she said.

I said when John left that if something happened to him I would make it my number one goal to speak out. I'm still grieving and probably will be forever. As soon as I found out he died, I felt like I had no strength in my body. I said to myself, "I can't fight for this cause, I can't eat, sleep or move." I was paralyzed both mentally and physically. I became numb to hearing about Iraq or President Bush. What could I possibly say? I remembered that promise to speak out but I couldn't go there, it felt too bad.

As time keeps going, I kept saying I wanted to speak out but I don't know where to start. It has been enough to bury my husband, care for my son and move from Hawaii to California. It wasn't until I got an e-mail from my sister who is a member of She would e-mail me throughout about stuff going on about the war. When she e-mailed me about Cindy Sheehan, I said, "I want to be there with Cindy. I want to tell my story."

That's when I started to do some research online. I started to research Cindy and see if this is something I could support. I looked into Gold Star Families for Peace. I wanted to make sure she was supporting the troops. People don't understand that this is FOR the troops. People think Cindy is saying the troops aren't heroes. My husband will always be my hero. He was not for this war but, as a member of the military, he had to do what he had to do. It makes me very proud. This is exactly what I would do if I had a chance.

If it wasn't for President Bush lying my husband would be alive and I wouldn't be raising my son by myself. I never imagined myself a 27-year old widow and single mom. My husband was my soul mate and the love of my life. My son will be raised knowing what a wonderful man my husband was and what a loving father he would've been. I will tell my son everything about this father. I will be 100 percent honest about my feeling towards this war and my husband's death.

People need to understand, this doesn't just happen to people on the news. It happens to your friends, neighbors. They need to speak out.

Melanie is speaking up, and now it's our turn. Tonight's vigils will be the most visible measure of the size and strength of public concern about the war in a long time. It is critical to have as many vigils as possible and as many attendees as possible to demonstrate the wave of public support for Cindy, Melanie, and other military families.

Attending a vigil is really easy. All you have to do is grab some candles and show up. These vigils aren't rallies or places to give long-winded speeches. They are moments to solemnly come together and mark the sacrifice of Cindy and other families.

Please find the vigil nearest you today and RSVP at:


Thanks for all you do.

–Tom, Nita and MoveOn moms Carrie, Marika and Joan and the Political Action team.
Wednesday, August 17th, 2005

P.S. We've put together some placards you can use at your vigil at:


If you have a digital photo camera you can send us photos of your local vigil by e-mailing them to Please include the city, state and any other details in the body of the e-mail.

If you have a digital video camera and would like to submit footage of your local vigil for inclusion in a possible MoveOn documentary, please send us your footage on MiniDV to:

MoveOn Documentary
Attn: Laura Dawn
PO Box 9063
Berkeley, CA 94709

Please remember to collect the names and e-mails of anyone you interview on the video, and please write your name, address, phone and e-mail on your MiniDV submission. For any questions, or to alert us that your MiniDV submission is coming, please contact

Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

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I am so lucky to have Melanie as my daughter-in-law! Last night was incredible for us as a family and we were so happy and surprised so many people came! Thank you EVERYBODY!

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