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Did You Go to a Vigil?

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Here's mine: I went to a vigil with about 50 people in the small town of Cheverly, Md. Several people took turns speaking. We sang "Give Peace a Chance." Then we broke up the circle and talked to friends and new aquaintances. The Prince George's Sentinel and the Gazette were both there. We're assuming that the Washington Post was either covering the event over at the White House or had decided this was all beneath them.
-David Swanson

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About 300-400 people came out for a candlelight vigil along the main street in downtown Olympia. We had folks stretching for 3-4 blocks on either side of the road. Lot's of cars passing by honking and waving their support. Strange to see other passers-by display their anger in overt and malicious ways. They were the minority though. Lot's of camradre amongst those lining the street. Change is in the air.

A beautiful evening with just about 200 people. We had lots of honking support from the drivers passing by. My husband and I are excited about the rally & march, here in September!

Stephenie Russell's son, Matthew Miller, is serving in Iraq. Steph is wheelchair bound. She organized the event! About 50-60 stood in a circle in front of a statue of Harry S Truman at the county courthouse where he served as County Judge of Jackson County! I remember being near the same place nearly 30 years ago when then President Ford was here to dedicate the statue. Times have changed. The Viet Nam War was just over a mere 12 months on that day in 1976. WaterGate had taken its toll on Nixon and by the time President Ford got to Kansas City for the dedication, Nixon was pardoned. I was thinking tonight how all that seems to pale in light of the incredible crimes, deceptions, lies, suffering and death that the Bush administration has so arrogantly pushed upon the nation and the world. I was honored to be asked to pray for our group this evening. I prayed for Steph, her son Matthew, Joel Bryant also in Iraq and his mother Sharon and all who are adversly affected by this tragic war. We stand with Cindy, with all our parents and loved ones, with all our brave soldiers who have been manipulated and lied to, and with the civilian victims of a nation who had nothing to do with 9/11 and who had, in Sec. Powell's words in Feb of 2001, "no conventional military capability to threaten his neighbors." God be with us as we make our voices be heard. WE, THE PEOPLE...

In the small town of Valley City, ND 25 good souls stood (in the rain and lightning) in peaceful solidarity with Cindy Sheehan.

I attended the vigil in Port Jefferson, a beautiful town on the north shore of Long Island. The sunset was striking and there was just enough coolness in the air to wear pants. This summer has been so hot, so this night seemed perfect.

About 100 people showed up- families with small children, senior citizens and college students- the crowd came together so nicely, like we've known each other for years.

One man held a sign with Bush's picture that read "I won't send my children to Iraq, but i'm honored to send yours"

I photocopied small signs that said "meet with cindy" and "america stands with cindy" (from her website) and passed them out to about 40 people. It looked great.

One woman brought her guitar and we all sang a song- which was the highlite of the night for me. I kept thinking that THIS is what Camp Casey must be like. Beautiful.

I posted photos on my website-

-Christine from Long Island

This evening, approximately 100 people turned out in one of several Chicagoland vigils. This one was in Paletine IL. Supporters, signs and candles lined a rather busy street on both sides. Motorists often honking in stopped and was asked to join us.

Our hostess read an open letter from Cindy Sheehan to the President. It discussed "hard" work. I made a few remarks to the crowd, thanking them for their support....for Cindy and for other military families with loved ones in harms way...or preparing for deployment.

Then, our hostess read Carly Sheehan's haunting poem, A Nation Rocked to Sleep. (both Cindy's letter and Carley's poem can be read on the Gold Star Families for Peace website, Several supporters returned to the side of the road with candles and signs. I was interviewed by local were other members of the group.

Don't forget to observe a moment of silent prayer on Friday at noon in solidarity with the folks at Camp Casey.

Bring them home now...and safe!

At the Veterans Memorial in Cumberland Park between 250-350 were present in a solemn vigil of quiet, reflective and meditative thought. candles were burning, children asking questions and horns honking; all good signs of the effectiveness of the vigil. At sundown, a young woman pulled out her trumpet and signaled the "official" end of the vigil by playing taps. Several local news crews were there and three of the four television stations aired the event on the late broadcast.

Upward of 1000 people attend several vigils for Cindy here in Tucson. The one we attended downtown was covered by two local TV stations as well as the Arizona Daily Star.
The highlight of our vigil was the Tucson Raging Grannies singing a song for Cindy that was written by one of their members. Here are the lyrics.

Cindy’s Song
(Tune: “Mr. Tambourine Man

We had our biggest turnout ever for a candlelight vigil in Monterey, California (about 2 hours south of San Francisco). We were down at a park near the Monterey Bay shoreline called "Window on the Bay" -- a lovely grassy area with good visibility to and from a major boulevard nearby.

For a while we formed a line along the sidewalk to showcase the large number of people, and then at the end we formed into circles. There was a lot of good, focused energy around people having come to specificially support Cindy Sheehan and Camp Casey.

We also have four local woman who will be leaving on Saturday to spend a week in Crawford, so we were also celebrating them.

We had 150 signed up through MoveOn...well over 250, probably closer to 300 where there, they continued to come, we held off lighting candles until 8:15 due to people coming in.

NBC and ABC were there from 6:30 until 8:30....CBS didn't bother to come. We had local print press from 6:30 until 8:30.

I did 4 interviews. CNN is suppose to grab footage from an affiliate and do a story on Oceanside in the A.M....

The people were amazing that attended...I was brought to tears.

We made a double HUGE PEACE SIGN w/lumaires and 10-15 people lit the 200 plus candles in the the pier it was stunning...we chanted, we sang God Bless America...

We had young Marines, several joined us, more stood on the fringes. I talked to each of them and hugged them and told them to stay safe....that it didn't matter if they couldn't grasp what we were doing...that we wanted them to stay alive and well. ALL of them had done at least TWO tours...they looked troubled and sad.

We had one CRAZY...he tried to ruin the vigil by 'hawking' his cause...he attempted to do it during our 5 minutes of silence...I asked him to leave, he threatened me...whatever. He jumped up and down and got in my face (he wasn't a protestor...he was just a radical anti-establishment guy)..sadly NBC had a camera on it...I whispered to the reporter that I would have his job if he used the footage...that will be what CNN will use!

We had ONE, count them ONE PRO-WAR/BUSH was hillarious...but the press gave her ALOT of time, save for ABC.

All in all, it was amazing and humbling...I am beyond exhausted.

This was the beginning of taking back America...and for those that sat infront of computers and did not support a vigil...that's just WRONG.


Thanks for your posting. I'm am so happy that this one woman's stand is finally making an impact with the American people. Sorry you had to deal with the one crazy BUSHITE - I wish I could just understand what makes them believe it's more patriotic to spew vitriol, rather than question the morality of this war.

In Peace,

Wonderful to read about your vigils! Keep going and take your country back.
There have also been some vigils here in New Zealand - will try to find how many and how well attended they were. Power to the people! Wonderful Cindy :)

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There were many events in the Seattle area tonight...the one I attended was just east of the Space Needle, and I was priviliged enough to stand between two veterans. We had a quiet half hour, with people talking to their neighbor lined up along Denny Way and Dexter, and much support from passersby, including the cabbies and a honking city bus! I see from the posts that many, many Americans from all sorts of places and all walks of life came out tonight to support our troops and their families, with one simple message. Bring 'em home.

Thanks, David, for your report from Cheverly. Happens to be the place I was born! And thanks to all who lit a candle tonight. We stand strong, we can help Cindy make sure that soon, no more moms have to share her anguish.

peace out,

I went to our vigil in Cupertino California. Although just announced this morning it was still overcrowded; but we made room for all. Our crowd held candles and placards at the corner of two busy streets.

The participants were great, but the best thing was the reactions from Motorists. There were LOTS of thumbs up, peace signs, honking and cheering - it seemed like every third car was cheering us on. And although this is one of the most conservative towns in this area, there was NOT ONE heckler. No flipping us off, no calls of "traitor" or "commie" - Not one!

If I was Dubya, I would be very scared tonight.

AFTER VIGIL 8/17/05 11PM In Sebastopol California, about 130 of us gathered on four corners on Main Street and Bodega Ave. Its our main drag thru town. We are about an hour north of San Franciso. Yes; latte drinking, volvo driving leftie liberal socialist peacnik, yuppie folk. Peace is patriotic. WE got an Overwhelmningly POSITIVE RESPONSE from hundreds of cars driving by. We realized that Yes the tide is turning. We realized tonight one person CAN make a difference How much more possible with all of us working together. And make no mistake we are there. 50% didnt vote. Bush got half of the ones that did vote (not counting voter fraud, black box, dirty tricks etc) which means he was elected by approx 25% of the voters.

We are coming out of our powerless isolation. We dont have to cry or rage alone with this anymore. WE realized we cant afford to be negative, apathetic, or disengaged. We have to take our country back. There are many people who have no power in this and are innocent victims like the children who are dying in Iraq everyday as well as our military men/women sent to war based on lies and profiteering. That Big Truth is now making its way into the minds of millions of Americans. It took many more years with Vietnam, to educate the people, organize, and end the war.

Overwhelmingly people talked of how they feel this a change for the Postive. WE cant give in to thinking which says oh its too late, or they own the congress, or they control all the media, or all those other thoughts which have so disempowered and demobilized us. Thinking like this doesn't get us anywhere. We have to turn our own thinking around. By speaking truth as Cindy has shown us. NO more fear of bushco. Bless the folks who organize this site keep it running Mr Swanson and all the others. Thank you
When the People Lead the Leaders Follow ..Check

There were about 300 of us who gathered in Santa Fe for a short candlelight vigil which included some people speaking their heartfelt comments, some poems, and some singing -- We Shall Overcome, Give Peace a Chance, and America the Beautiful.

As we left the original gathering area we spontaneously walked as a group down to the Santa Fe Plaza (which was not available for our event) and just walked peacefully around the Plaza with our candles and some placards. As we approached the Plaza, one woman said, "You should leave America." I responded that I felt I should stay, and moved on. Otherwise, it was a wonderful experience, and there were a number of people driving by us who honked, some on the Plaza who blew kisses and thanked us.

My father was a World War II Veteran and I am proud of Cindy Sheehan for bringing the attention of the nation to matters our country is involved in today for which we criticized the German people during that war -- being unthinking followers, failing to stand up to tyranny, haplessly selling out their civil rights, tampering with their laws and their courts. That all sounds distressingly familiar today, right here at home.

Although I have written letters and made contributions, tonight was the first time I have walked in a group to express my political views. It was an empowering experience. Thank you, Cindy!

I can hardly beleive everything going on.... This war needs to end. The bush administration must be held accountable. This is just the beginning for george W. bush. We must keep going until we get some answers. As a country we must demand answers. because they will not give in to anything unless they have to. The media cant hide the truth forever.

I went to a local vigil after reading about it only hours before and had the unbelievable good luck to attend the same vigil, out of over 1600 nationally, that Ray McGovern attended and addressed (along with a couple hundred other citizens). I had my camera and got some good pictures of him speaking to the crowd which might be useful to the cause. Congressman Jim Moran was there as well, but he did not speak. Got a couple pics of him in the crowd too. I also have one very picturesque photo of the candlelight vigil that conveys the mood of the gathering nicely. I have been looking for a place to post them or someone to email them to (especially the Ray McGovern pics) but have come up empty. They are good pictures and Mr. McGovern is a key figure in the antibush movement. Any ideas??
PS: I would post my email address but I would be swamped with spammers...glad to say afterdowningstreet has gotten high profile enough for me to worry about it, as backwards as that sounds. ;)

I was surprised at the attendance of about hunred to hundredfifty participants in my rather sleepy southrn redneck hometown. We lined up on all four corners of the intersection to the main entrance of University of Florida. Many drivers honked their horns in support at times profusely, but we also had many hacklers. These people were angry, yelling obscenities in front of young children, screaming “democrats go home

Report from Rosalie S. in Camarillo, California:

When I checked the website a bit before 7 p.m., there were 78 people signed up for the Camarillo vigil. There was nothing else nearer than Thousand Oaks (about 9 miles away) or Ventura (about 10 miles away).

Camarillo, a city of about 64,000, is strongly Republican and conservative. The Ventura County Star has local editions of its rather right-leaning newspaper, one of which is a Camarillo edition. We’re also served by a Ventura County edition of the L.A. Times. Neither newspaper had a story about the vigils planned for tonight. It’s conceivable that I may have missed a mention, though.

In any case, I was astonished that there were as many as 78 who’d heard of the vigil and were willing to come out to stand, with candles and signs, on the sidewalk in front of the City Hall. As it turned out, we had slightly more than 100 people. Several people remarked that it felt good, for a change, to be in a group of people who felt as they did.

It was gratifying to hear the honking horns of cars passing, often with hands making the peace sign, waving outside the cars. There was only one car whose passengers chose to display more derogatory hand -- well, finger actually -- signals.

There was a large age range, but unfortunately not much of an ethnic or racial mix; just a few Asian and Hispanic. I’m afraid that’s representative of our mostly 'white bread' community.

Neither newspaper chose to cover the event in Camarillo.

Here in Kona, Hawaii it seems hard to get anyone to take an interest in national or world affairs. So I was surprised when I entered my zipcode and found a vigil scheduled....I wasn't surprised to see that I was the first to sign up (after the sponsor) I was astonished when I got there and found about 60 people with candles ahead of me and my wife!!! The local paper sent a reporter and will be running a story tomorrow and a couple of Honolulu TV stations asked us to send them still photos so presumably they did a story on the late news!

I am almost seriously considering thanking W for being such a bonehead because without his pigheadedness I wouldn't have met so many likeminded people to organize future protests with!

"I am almost seriously considering thanking W for being such a bonehead" I heard that, and totally agree!

I didn't attend one of the many planned vigils here in the metropolitan Detroit area (for health reasons), but I did light a candle a say a prayer for Cindy (Sheehan); you are OUR shero Cindy. May God's grace and mercy sustain you, and keep you safe. I also encouraged others to light a candle if they could not attend a vigil.

Truth is on OUR side. Give peace a chance!

I'm planning to come to your next vigil to come and support.By the way it's to show that this war doesn't worth it, because this war ain't nothing but bullshit.

Our family went to a vigil put up on MoveOn on August 16. There were about forty people there, one of many held in and around Chicago. The organizer set up a lot of candles in the yard and as it got darker some of the children gathered around them. Some people talked politics, others preferred to stand silently. The vigil was very informal. About half the people knew the host, the other half had gotten directions from MoveOn, mostly the day of the vigil. The western suburbs of Chicago are conservative but not blindly so. People are angry about the war. They believe in Cindy's cause. They want answers about why so many have died and keep dying. Thanks for helping host this event. More anti-war protests are planned in the Fox Valley and many of the vigil people were interested in attending.
We have more info at our peace group website

I was the organizer of the Chapel Hill candlelight vigil for Cindy.
By my count we had over 200 people, although the local paper reported 150. This was organized in 48 hours! We were one of 17 vigils in NC, that had over 1550 registered to attend.

We kept the vigil silent. Young and old, lots of candles and signs.
Honking in our favor. We had print/radio media. Had a call from a local TV station but they didn't show. The Durham vigil (about 20 minutes away) had great turnout--over 300--and the local ABC station led with them on 11 pm. news. They also mentioned Chapel Hill and Cary vigils. Here's the link on the Raleigh paper's report of vigils in the Triangle area:


There were several vigils in the Twin Cities. I counted 1200 people at the vigil on the Lake Street/Marshall Ave. bridge over the Mississippi River. There was also a vigil in Loring Park with news coverage from Channel 5. Looked like several hundred protesters were there as well.

I made signs that can be downloaded from my flick'r account:

A "We support Cindy" sign, a "Cindy? Yes! War? No!" sign and a sign quoting Redneck Mother: "Forget the quagmire in Iraq. He can't even manage the quagmire at the end of his driveway". Feel free to copy and pass them on!

I'd say we had close to 300 people at Edina , Mn. More than I had expected, may be 4 hecklers. The group was very diverse with senior citizens and children,suit types along w/ frayed jeans types. Many people were honking and showing support, I feel it was productive as Edina is very Republican and as I said we had very good responses.

I got a call from a freind at 7:20 p.m. asking me to come "protest" We stood in the middle Island on Okeechobee Blvd. as it leads into Downtown WPB. Several cars continuously circled and blew their horns. We may have had only 20-30 people with us but we made an impact on several thousand driving by. This was planned by and they plan to be in the Median across from the Kravtis Center every Saturday if anyone in the West Palm Beach area would like to join us. Power to the People! This idiot has to be impeached!


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see People Doen It !!!

In a speach directed as much to "half the population" as it was to President Bush, a military mother drew strong reaction from hundreds of people at the conclusion of a candlelight vigil held at the White House.

The mother gave me her copy of her powerful, plain spoken speech and it is printed at my blog along with my photos.



From the speech:

"... President Bush, meet with Cindy. Tell that mother in that pathetic ditch by your house just exactly why her son died. Tell her how the war is going and what your plan is. Explain to her that 'taking the fight to them' was really a brilliant way to get the naive and ignorant to fall unquestioningly behind you. Tell her how through your incompetence and at great expense in resources and human life, we destroyed Iraq, giving the Iraqis an infinitely worse hell than anyone could have ever imagined..."

- Joe Tresh

I attended a vigil in Taos,New Mexico.There was around a hundred people there.Me and my husband drove from Alamosa,Colorado to attend.It was a powerful experience that I will never forget.It is encourageing to know there is people who care.Lets get louder so all will hear.Power to the people.Cindy we love you and thank you for all you are.

You are absolutely right. Last night was about standing in solidarity with Cindy Sheehan. But we the people do need to keep this up until the entire problem is resolved. In Fargo, ND we are going out on the streets again this Sunday afternoon--in solidarity with Cindy and against the war. There is no reason at all to stop here.... Power to the people!

Here in Portland, Oregon, we had at least ONE really big vigil. At 23rd & Hoyt we had somewhere between 250 and 500 very well behaved candle and sign holders that spanned 3 generations of anti-war protest and ages 6 to 75. we were very well behaved, though not always quiet, many engaging in (very positive) conversations, and some of the "old timers" breaking out into "Give Peace a Chance" a few times. It was really nice!!!

I brought my camera, but never got around to taking pictures -- I was just too caught up in BEING THERE .

There were at least 3 different local broadcast media present and a photo-journalist from our local daily rag THE OREGONIAN. I looked on the paper's website this a.m. and couldn't find any coverage of the event so I wrote a letter to their new editor asking if I was just stupid and couldn't find it. If I get a response, I'll blast them for not putting it on the website, but these folks are still not covering the DSM, so I don't expect much.

Event was really WONDERFUL from a personal and emotional point-of-view. It was just so good to see that some people have HOPE and haven't given up.

Of course, the numbers will need to multiply exponentially for it to actually change anything, but everything must start somewhere, and this event did NOT have a lot of lead-time.

There were many other events in the Portland area, though this was looking like it was going to be the biggest in the early eve last night based on RSVP's. I would love to hear if any of the other ones had good crowds and/or media coverage.

I refused to upset myself by scanning the MSM looking for whether they were going to run any of the footage they collected.

Charlie L
Portland, OR

Let's get to Washington from September 24 to 26 and see if we can't take back our democratic republic from these lying thieves.

I have been informed by the organizers that somebody who took the time to count bodies/candles down the two sides of the street that we covered for about 10 city blocks in each direction came up with approx. 800 participants. Better than my lowball estimate, but I stood in one place.

Hey, not bad for short notice.

And it wasn't the ONLY one in Portland, Oregon -- there were about 10 separate events!!!

So, if you were at one of the OTHER ones, get your report in.

We did amazing last night across the country for an event planned on such short notice.

Charlie L
Portland, OR

Friday at Noon. Saturday TBA. September 24-26 in Washington. These are the days of decision; what will you tell YOUR grandchildren you were doing?

We had over 200 people show up with very little notice--damn good for Toledo. Even better was the support from passing motorists on a main commercial street. Amazing!
One youngster told his mom, "it's like a football game."
One woman pulled up who had driven to the corner to get tacos, having no idea what was going on. She was almost in tears as she showed me a picture of her son, now in Iraq. She said she'd get out of the car and stay with us but was in her pajamas. She and at least two other moms thanked us for "helping save my son."

Hi all! Just a quick report on last night's event. We had around 18 people
by the end, including a number of children, the mood was friendly, and we
got a lot of positive honks, thumbs up, waves, etc, (except for two cars
that drove by repeatedly to shout obscenities and encouraging us to listen
to Rush Limbaugh!).

Some media was there, FOX news actually did a "fair and balanced" report,
calling it a demo by local mothers against the war, which I think was
correct. Jon J. and I were interviewed and on TV. Another station was
there, as was the Forum (I believe).

I think that if we get the word out over the next couple of days (I have
sent out a press release for it), we could have an even larger turnout on
Sunday at noon at the Main Ave. bridge. Try and bring some large signs as
well, so passing traffic can see it. Wade Hannon, myself, and some others
plan on doing some leafleting on Saturday to promote the Sunday event,
please contact me at if you'd like to join us!

Thanks again to Jon J. for "just doing it" and setting the time and place
for last night's vigil.

I attended my first protest ever in Whittier, California last night.
What a great experience it was joining with a group of strangers who became immediate friends! We had a lot of positive response from people driving by and honking in support. There were about 50 of us on the S/E corner of Philadelphia & Greenleaf. On the opposite corner there was a small group of counter protesters who showed their true colors right away when one of them pulled off his shirt to proudly display a huge swastika tattoo. Another held a sign that said "Forget Oil, We Want Blood!" and shouted "12 more years of war! Yeah!" I had no argument with the guy because, hey, If you're a blood thirsty war-monger then Bush is your man.

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About 300 people showed up in Doylestown, PA, the Bucks county, county seat. Some prayers were said, an anti war song, then a canle lit walk around the county courthouse/administraiton building in the center of town.

The size of this turnout is great news, because Bucks county is the lynchpin for Democrats winning elections in PA-- a Philly suburb where the old republican lead has just about been eroded away by dems and independents.

1,000 show up at 5 Valley war protests

Judy Nichols and Jessica Coomes
The Arizona Republic
Aug. 18, 2005 12:00 AM

It is perhaps only a mother, a mother who has lost a son, who could stand vigil in Texas against the war in Iraq.

In the post-Sept. 11 era, when criticism of the war is often labeled unpatriotic, observers say it is only someone who has made the ultimate sacrifice who can speak out.

"Mothers seeing their sons die are not only a very powerful and emotional anti-war face but the one group in a position now to lead the opposition," said Dan Carter, history professor at the University of South Carolina, who has studied the differences between anti-war movements.

The protest by Cindy Sheehan of Vacaville, Calif., has galvanized those on both sides and spurred 1,500 nationwide vigils on Wednesday evening.

More than 1,000 people showed up to the five vigils in the Valley. At 24th Street and Camelback Road in Phoenix, supporters and protesters packed the intersection's four corners and incited a steady stream of car horns.

"You stand on the sidewalk, and you get a lot of different reactions," said Larry Noack, 64, of Phoenix. "You get people giving you the middle finger and people honking and sticking their thumbs up. It's a microcosm for society."

One of the Arizona mothers who just returned from protesting with Sheehan joined one of the vigils. But other moms think Sheehan is disrespecting her son and should pack up and go home.

Sheehan's son, 24-year-old Army Spc. Casey Sheehan, was killed in Baghdad last year.

Afterward, Sheehan met with the president but said that was before information came out on faulty intelligence reports about weapons of mass destruction.

She said she was so upset she didn't get to ask the question she now wants answered: "Why did he kill my son?"

And she vows to stay outside Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, until Aug. 31 or until he speaks to her.

Two Scottsdale women who have children in the military, Sherry Bohlen and Rebecca Bahr, drove to Texas last week to join Sheehan at the protest that has grown to about 200 people.

Bohlen, an anti-war activist during Vietnam, adopted her son Thor, a war orphan from Vietnam. Now, Thor is an Army mechanic who has been in Iraq for the past two months.

Bohlen said that, when she got to Texas, she felt a "hopeful anticipation" that the anti-war movement would take off.

By the time she left, she had done 48 media interviews and is certain her voice was heard.

"Cindy Sheehan is not speaking at a political level," Bohlen said. "She's speaking at a human level, and people are responding. And in return the media is responding."

Sheehan's stand against the war is far from universal among military mothers in Arizona, however.

"I'm sorry for her loss," said Sandy Watson of Peoria, whose son, Lance Cpl. Mike Williams, was killed in Iraq in 2003. "If I were to meet her today, I would give her a hug."

But Watson said Sheehan should go home, work with family groups, write her congressman or maybe run for office herself.

"The president said he wouldn't meet with her, so she should leave," Watson said. "It's to the point of being bullying, saying, 'I'll stay here until you talk to me.'

"I don't think her son would approve of it; I know my son wouldn't."

Watson's former husband, Michael's father, lives in Vacaville and knows Sheehan.

"He's angry," she said. "She reminds him of Jane Fonda. She's stirring up negativism.

"I remember the Vietnam protests, and they weren't just disagreements, they were destructive," Watson said. "Our kids should come home to a positive environment."

Viana Bruce, who organized Semper Fi, 24/7, a group of Marine moms who meet each week to support each other, doesn't like the protest. Bruce's son served with the Marines in Iraq at the beginning of the war and has safely returned.

"I can't see how she's honoring her son's death," Bruce said. "I think she's fueling the enemy. She's causing chaos."

There were no reports of violence during Wednesday's Valley vigils, which were supported by, a Web site critical of Bush and the war.

Participants carried candles and held signs ranging from "Impeach Bush" to "Support our troops." Many of the participants were surprised by the large turnout.

About 200 people showed up in Mesa. And about 700 turned out for the vigil in the Biltmore area.

Caryn Gardner, 40, is the local coordinator of Code Pink, a women's peace organization. The Paradise Valley resident attended the Phoenix vigil and said that Sheehan brought a face to the suffering and that activists felt the impact on Wednesday night.

"Having done this for a while, I am so hopeful that we're actually going to come to peace," she said. "People are really coming out to protest, people who have never come before."

Victor Rodziewicz of Phoenix was there to show his support for the troops. He said he has never protested before but became so angry when he heard about the protests that he made a sign that read "Support our troops. Support U.S.A. Cindy go home."

Rodziewicz, whose own son served in Iraq, lived in communist Poland growing up. He said the protesters don't appreciate the basic things such as schools, library and food.

Although he understands Sheehan's feelings, he believes "she's using her son's name, that's not right."

Phoenix police Detective Albert Ramirez Jr. said it's his job to monitor demonstrations in Phoenix. And up until Sheehan's protest, there hadn't been much activity.

But now he goes out to protests every day.

Historically, mothers did not protest, said Carter, the South Carolina history professor.

"You didn't have anything like this with Gold Star mothers in World War I or World War II," he said. "Even in Korea, there were no organized resistance mothers.

"We all know where it starts: with Vietnam. Vietnam drew the first substantial opposition to the war. It's significant that it emerged when the women's movement emerged."

In April 1971, a group of mothers whose sons had died in Vietnam lead about 1,100 veterans across the Lincoln Memorial Bridge to Arlington National Cemetery.

But during Vietnam, Carter said, most of the protesters were young men who were spurred to action because of opposition to the draft.

Today, with an all-volunteer military, those voices are not there, and so it is a mother who is speaking out.

Political observers disagree on the import of Sheehan's protest but agree that Bush should speak to her.

"The best way to handle it would be to walk out there and talk to the woman," said Bob Grossfeld, a political analyst and pollster in Arizona. "He's insulting her and the mothers and fathers and husbands and wives and family members of thousands of people who lost their lives, all because he can't give her a simple answer.

"This is how presidencies fall. Either by virtue of them not being electable or, in this case, not being credible."

Chuck Coughlin, president of HighGround, a Phoenix political consulting firm, said Bush will not waver.

"My awareness of the Bush folks is they're not likely to send up a peace flag soon," Coughlin said. "I don't think this bothers him. I think their sense is (the war) is going to start winding down."

Still, Coughlin would recommend a meeting.

"My advice would be to see if there was an opportunity whereby she would meet with him, express her point of view and end her vigil."

Carter said presidents have varied in their ability to deal with protests.

"Initially, President Johnson did try to meet with people, but then he became so scared, so torn and conflicted that he made it a point of very seldom meeting with critics of the war."

Talking about Sheehan's protest stirs the feelings of loss for Watson, who meets regularly with three other Gold Star mothers in the Valley.

"We have one thing in common," she said. "We lost our sons. It's a very strong bond."

They share stories they heard from their sons' buddies, donate to groups sending care packages to those still serving and make squares for quilts sent to families who have lost someone.

Watson said she supports Sheehan's right to protest but disagrees and said she will remember her son her own way.

"I don't think it will ever be OK," Watson said. "I hate like heck that he died. But to my death I will defend what he went over there to do."

Reporters Art Thomason, Carl Holcombe and Corrine Purtill contributed to this article.

Thank you Arizona Republic...

More than 150 showed last evening in Marietta, GA, the home of Newt Gingrich. A county that voted about 2:1 for Bush in 2004. We lit our candles in front of the courthouse on the square and then, after a quiet vigil until 8:00, began marching around the square singing and chanting.

People were waving and honking from cars. Many cheered us on. Only one car gave us a thumbs down and then, when stoppped at the traffic signal, was embarrassed to look up.

This was a very inspiring event in the heart of the conservative South. Cindy has given us all hope for the future.

With over 300 people turning out to support Cindy Sheehan, Orlando, Florida's candlelight vigil was a tremendous success. We received coverage from local television, radio, and hope to appear in print publications later this week. The responses we received from passers by on foot and people in their cars were overwhelmingly positive and I am not aware of one negative comment or gesture. CodePink:Women for Peace of Orlando has been holding candlelight vigils the third Wednesday of every month for approximately the last year (same place -Rosalind St side of Lake Eola Park - just around the corner from our US Senators' and US Congressman's offices) and we will continue to do so until our troops return home from Iraq. Special thanks to for providing a well publicized channel for us to advertise this event. Please join us for vigils every month and visit our website at for further details and information about other upcoming events. Thanks to everyone who supported us last night!

I attended the vigil at Lake Eola in Orlando, which was hosted by Code Pink. I just want to say thanks for organizing this vigil. It was amazing to see so many people in Orlando come together for anything. It felt so good to see the children, mothers, grandfathers . . . and others all join together to support Mrs. Sheehan and the many other family members who have lost a loved one because of our greedy administration.

Take a look at all of the beautiful people who showed up in Orlando . . . .

Thanks again Code Pink!! You women are awesome!

Freedom Park-Charlotte NC Candlelight Vigil in Support of Cindy Sheehan and All The Gold Star Families, and Innocent Iraqi Families 8-17-2005

See the photos here:
Candlelight Vigil-Charlotte NC

We had some 240 sign on to the Vigil at MoveOn, as you see in the pics most of those showed as well as the whole time we were there, from around 7:30 till about 9 PM we had others join us, and this was in a Park Setting not a Street Corner etc.. There were Press present, with us showing a great attempt at singing a few songs, but mostly people just came to the center of the formed ring to express their feelings, many very moving and thoughtful some just venting a few words and thoughts. A few very light showers which earlier had thunder in the distance and rain elsewhere, than today I get rained out of work, so the Gods were watching last night and Held Off!!!!!!!

...a president is not the country.... it is loyalty to the country that is important....not the leader of the country....
James Starowicz

VFP 'Declaration Of Impeachment'

Sign On and Pass Link To Others

VFP Impeachment Petition

USN '67-'71 GMG3 Vietnam In-Country'70-'71 COMNAVFORV

The twenty of us must have seemed like an imposing threat. The group, composed of several families with infants, two teenagers, some middle aged couples and senior citizens, met for a peaceful candlelight vigil in support of Cindy Sheehan. We began by congregating on the sidewalk on a California Interstate overpass. We were immediately confronted by the CHP and a police squad car. We were told that our presence constituted a potential traffic hazard to the drivers passing below on the freeway. Hmm, as though the Caltrans work and flashing signs along the freeways during rush hour, advising us of the estimated drive time, doesn't create a hazard?

We then decided to walk about 6 blocks to a major intersection. As some members of our group, carrying signs in support of Cindy, used the crosswalks to post themselves on all four corners of the intersection, we were once again confronted by the police. The two women cops expressed their concern that members of our group were crossing illegally against the blinking red hand, and that they wanted to make sure that no one got hurt. This was interesting, because as we explained, in every instance the pedestrians began to cross on the green hand. Unfortunately, it only stays green for a few seconds before turning to the ominous blinking red hand. This information totally confounded the two cops. For the next hour, we experienced visitations by several more police cars.

By the way, most drivers and passers-by expressed support for Cindy, by tooting their horns and flashing us peace signs. In my opinion, the highlight of the evening was when a group of kids got off their bicycles and joined us. We gave them each candles and they proudly held them high!

Interestingly, during the first confrontation, a news helicopter spotted the situation and began to hover over us. But since there was no blood spilt, they decided to go fly on to bigger and better things.

I didn't count the people who attended the rally, but you can judge for yourself by viewing my raw footage of the event:

Click here for the best version - broadband

Click here if you are on a dial-up modem

We had in attendance at least one mother of a recently killed U.S. Soldier from the area. I hope that "Cindy's" will be emerging in droves from all over the country and soon our GWB will have no where to hide.

The beginning of the vigil was a "stand together" vigil rather than a silent vigil. People were excited to be coming together to share their thoughts and feelings about the war. The cars going past were constantly honking their horns, and someone was yelling "Thank You!" or flashing a peace sign. This is not usually the sign one gets flashed when demonstrating on a street corner in Akron!

My deepest thanks to whoever organized this, nice job!

Karen Kilroy

My husband and I attended a candlelight vigil yesterday evening here in New Port Richey, Florida, (located on the West Coast) where we drew many supportive responses from the many people driving by. Only once did we hear something that might have been considered 'opposition'. Someone yelled "Liberal" from his window to which I shouted back, "Yes, we are, and proud of it - thank you for noticing!"

We even had people walk up to us off the streets and ask what we were doing. One of those people was a soldier home from Afghanistan who had completed his tour of duty there. He is very appreciative of Cindy, as well as the rest of us who are taking a stance against the real threat right here in this country.

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