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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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White House report and photos.

Gallery of photos sent in from AZ, MI, DC.

Video of Tulsa OK vigil.

Orlando vigil photos.

Gallery of photos sent in from Highland Park IL, Sacramento CA, Pacific Grove CA.

Video of Baltimore vigil.

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That's great! I was at the one in Independence. About 30-40 of us gathered in front of the statue of Harry S Truman. Not bad when you concider that there were four events in a ten mile radious! The Indep. Examiner was there taking pictures. I e-mailed them this morning and they called me back! They're going to print my letter Friday or Saturday!

In my little town of Turners Falls, MA, population 4,000, we had about 60- 75 people holding candles and signs in support of Cindy.

We stood in a circle and each person said a prayer or statement. Then I read a poem I found when visiting the Vietnam Wall Web Site. I think the man wrote it for all the Vietnam Soldiers.
It was written by:
Major Micheal Davis O'Donnell
1 Jan. 1970
Dak To Vietnam
KIA Feb 7, 1970

If you are able save for them a place inside you and save one backward glance when you are leaving for the places they can no longer go.
Be not ashamed to say you loved them, though you may or may not have always. Take what they have taught you with their dying and keep it with your own.
And in that time when men decide and feel safe to call the War insane
take one moment to embrace those gentle hero's you left behind.
You may view my photo's at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/67586030@N00/

Our rally in Tampa - we had a great turnout and it was a truly beautiful experience. :)

Thanks, Cindy, for your inspiration; and blessings and good health for your Mom. We love you!!

Sunnyvale, CA
A group of about 70 of us stood with the sun settting, candles in our hands, and Cindy Sheehan and THE MOVEMENT now metamorphising, in our hearts.

The karma was good. One's conscience always is a guide. We are right.

Tonight we held a Candlelight Vigil in honor of Cindy Sheehan who is still trying for an audience with President Bush to ask the questions spawned by the death of her son in the Iraq War. Our purpose in the vigil was to show Ms. Sheehan that she is not waiting alone.

Setting up, I was fearful that no one would come and I would have to stand alone. But people came from every direction: singly, in couples, in families, and in small groups, on bikes, by motorcycle, in cars, and on foot. People came from Ilwaco, WA, Cannon Beach, Seaside, North Bend, and even Portland. And they kept coming.

Fifty-three people in our coastal town of 10,000 met at the Astoria Post Office in downtown Astoria, Oregon, on Wednesday, 17 August, from 7:30 to 8:30 pm.

Our goal was to hold a vigil: solemn, contemplative, reflective, observant, respectful, and, perhaps for some, prayerful. Passers-by honked their car horns or waved their support for us. There were none of the challenges I had tried to prepare the demonstrators for. It was the kind of demonstration that could not have been held in Portland.

We sang almost the entire hour, mostly old activist songs by Dylan and Seeger, “Imagine,

I arrived late and there were already more than 100, maybe as many as 150 people at the corner of Hillcrest and Lynn Road. I was about 15minutes late and so while I was greeted by the organizer as I stepped onto the street i don't know if there was a structured beginning to the vigil or just a bunch of people standing on a corner standing for what they believe in which is peace! The crowd kept growing and I was told that the count had reached 260! Around 8:30PM I was informed that 3 "Hitler Youth" had for some time been at one edge of the group, and talking on their cell phones and that they might be bringing in reinforments and that leaving before that happened would be the prudent thing to do. Of course today 8-18-05 I heard about Cindy's mother, and know that she has left Crawford, which I'm sure many of the president's supporters (that dwindling crowd.) will make a big deal of the fact that Cindy left Crawford before W did! After what I saw and heard last night I know that while it will be too long coming, that those of us, who want to end this war that our government lied us into, will eventually prevail, and that some of our soldiers will not be sacrificed, because W and his sycophantic henchmen decided it would be a good idea, even though on the face of it this war in this place at this time was clearly not in the national interest. A few people sang a verse of God Bless America last night but it did not catch on to the entire group. What did permeate the group, was the will and resolve to stand up and be counted for an end to this war and and answer to Cindy's question.

What is the noble cause Casey and more than 1,800 others have died for ?

We had more than 60 people at this vigil. It went very well with an enthusiatic response from drivers.

I spent all day Weds. working on publicity - printing up flyers, posting them, contacting our state representative and US representative, calling and emailing people, being interviewed by the Associated Press and a local paper, etc. At 7pm, I was still frantically typing up my notes for what I was going to say, making signs, changing my clothes, etc. I arrived at St. Gertrude's at 7:15 and began conferring with one of the musicians who was going to play. After a few minutes, he stopped and said, "Ginger, look behind you". I turned and saw the sidewalk filled with people streaming towards the church - was a glorious sight!

In all, 175 (we counted) people attended the hour long vigil on only one day's notice and most did not leave even after it formally concluded. Because of the great spirit and energy there, folks stayed and chatted and brainstormed about future actions. We finally had to "disperse" the crowd because it was getting late and we felt we might be disturbing the neighbors.

We started with some songs. Then I spoke for a bit. I then turned it over to the crowd for a "Quaker-type" meeting - people were encouraged to speak if they felt moved to do so or to just be in silence or to pray. The first person to speak was a young African-American man. He said two of his friends were in Iraq and he so wanted them to come home safely. He had seen the vigil from his apt across the street and had spontaneously decided to join us. An older white woman spoke so movingly of being a child during World War II and finding out that her brother had been killed. She prayed that no more children lose a sibling in war. Many other people -- young and old, black, white, Asian, Catholics, Episcopalians, Jews -- spoke from their hearts. One woman sang a song she had written wishing the troops a "Safe Home".
Many people held candles and /or signs and there was even a little dog there with a sign on his back that read "Dogs for Cindy". We closed with some more singing and lots of hugs all around. I also circulated a letter of support to Cindy which was signed by many and I will take it to her on Sat.

It was a powerful and moving experience. The only sour note was when I read the coverage in today's Chicago Tribune --- see below for my response.

Dear Mr. Wycliff,

I feel that your coverage of last night's Vigils for Cindy was inadequate, misleading and offensive("Nationwide vigils call for war to end", p.11, 8/18).

The article implies that only two vigils were held in the city of Chicago (Cricket Hill and Uof I.) In fact, there were many more in Chicago.

I, myself, organized a vigil at St. Gertrude's Church, Granville & Glenwood, Chicago. 180 people attended with one day's notice. There were numerous other vigils in Chicago - in my area alone, at the Heartland Cafe and at Senn High School.

I had emailed the Tribune ahead of time about our vigil and was contacted by your photo dept. The person who called me stated the Tribune would send a photographer. I understand that priorities can change and the photographer may have needed to be somewhere else, but I do not understand why the article gives the impression there were only 2 Chicago Vigils when the Tribune was expressly notified of at least one other, and could've found out about many more, simply by going to the MoveOn.org website, where all the Vigils across the country were publicized.

I also have to question the balance/objectivity of the article when the only person quoted (Kristinn Taylor)derided "the organizers of the vigil" as "phoney-baloney".

At the St. Gertrude's vigil, I spoke about a parishioner who is now serving in the Army in Iraq - a 22 yr.old whom many at the vigil had seen grow up in the neighborhood, receive his First Communion and be confirmed at St. Gertrude's, be an altar boy, work in the rectory, be a Mass lector,and go on to graduate from Northside Catholic Academy, St. Ignatius College Prep and the University of Notre Dame (with honors, in all cases). I spoke about this same parishioner enlisting in the Army (ROTC at UND) after Sept. 11. I told how his life is now continually in danger as he commands a convoy that guards trucks delivering supplies all over Iraq in a war started on false pretenses. I spoke of the intense fear that strikes his family when their doorbell rings and brings the possibility that there will be an Army representative with news of his death. I said that I support Cindy Sheehan in her efforts to bring the troops home now and I plan to join her in Crawford this Sat.

As an organizer of a Vigil, I feel that the quote by Ms. Taylor, especially with nothing to balance it, was personally offensive.

Mr. Wycliff, please correct the misleading impression the article gives to the reader. I would greatly appreciate it, as that "parishioner" of which I spoke is my son.

Thank you,
Ginger Williams
1305 W. Glenlake Ave.
Chicago, IL.

The Power of Cindy Sheehan
August 18th, 2005
Tonight I ventured out, like thousands of other Americans to the nearest corner holding a vigil for Cindy Sheehan. The nationwide vigil event was organized by MoveOn. I haven’t had a chance to glance to much around the internet tonight but from what I have seen there were successful events all across our nation. These events speak volumes, yes VOLUMES, of the Power of Cindy Sheehan.

http://blog.thedemocraticdaily.com/?p=269

Also -
Studio City, CA Cindy Sheehan Vigil Gets National Coverage
http://blog.thedemocraticdaily.com/?p=275

Thankfully the MSM did not sleep through this...

A Look at Cindy Sheehan Vigils Across the Nation
August 18th, 2005
Last night’s vigils for Cindy Sheehan have garnered quite a bit of media attention across the nation. Here’s a sampling of stories:

http://blog.thedemocraticdaily.com/?p=271

A very wonderful, warm, inspiring event. All four corners of the intersection were crowded with men, women, children - all with candles, peace signs, buttons and enthusiasm. There were musicians playing songs..."This Land is Your Land", "Imagine", etc.

As a liberal and a peace activist, I sometimes feel very alone in this hostile right-wing world. Last night, I was borne up by a tide of emotion - a new feeling of hope, joy and commitment to our cause.

God bless Cindy Sheehan for her bravery; for standing up for what she believes is important - even in the face of such unrelenting and vicious hatred from the right-wing.

How can we do less?

I'm a 70+ year old retired Methodist clergyman. I think of myself as conservative in that the Bible's teachings, especially the Sermon on the Mount, drive my thinking about faith matters. So it's warming to join with 80+ citizens, a wonderfully mixed up group from many sacred and secular backgrounds. We came together solemly and joyfully claim peace as our stand. We were blessed with the presence of the Mendocino County Veterans for Peace bus that had delivered Cindy Sheehan to Crawford and was leaving immediately from our vigil to return to crawford.

The Prince of Peace wears many disguises, but none that even vaguely resembles the President of the United States. Blessed are the peacemakers.

My 15-year-old daughter and I went to a vigil in Wellington, Florida, an equestrian community in infamous Palm Beach County. The response was good. There were more than a 100 of us, lined up along a busy intersection, holdings candles and signs - Moms for Peace, Fire the Liar, No WMDs, Get Out of Iraq, We Stand with Cindy. Stop the War. Passing drivers honked and flashed thumbs up. Truckers were unanimously supportive, honking support. Some held out their own signs - impeach Bush was a favorite. One maniac roared past with a Bush/Cheney sign, hollering obscenities. We laughed at him. The people in Hummers didn't even look our way.

I demonstrated during Vietnam and I have to tell you, this was refreshing. Cindy Sheehan has put a face on the anti-war movement. The tide really does seem to be turning.

About 300 people attended the vigil in Fairhaven Park in this city 25 miles south of the Canadian border. For ten minutes we kept silent as we held our candles and only sea gulls could be heard. A picture and description is posted at NWcitizen.us

It was humid and hot on the plaza in front of Dallas' City Hall, but nobody noticed. Approximately 180 people in support of Cindy Sheehan and the Troops Out of Iraq NOW Movement gathered to share thoughts and feelings, hopes and dreams, realities of war's destruction, and sad acknowledgement of our government's deception. Many ages, different backgrounds and points of focus: all spoke from the heart, inspired by the mother who has awakened America's voice and conscience. We will meet and vigil there again on Wednesdays until Camp Casey moves to DC. I was honored to host this gathering. Join us in peace.

Thank you for your story. I was surprised at the turn out for our little town 1100 pop. Over 71 people came out young and old it was very inspirational.Alot of positive feedback from from passersby we decided to also continue our vigil next wednesday. I'm glad to hear your group is doing the same. I would encourage everybody across the world to join in.
Thanks again,

Love Leo

At least 400 people gathered in front of St. Xavier's, a cathedral in midtown St. Louis, where Sunday night vigils for peace have been held since months before the war began. The organizer was a Vietnam vet who is part of Veterans for Peace. He had pre-recorded 15 minutes of wonderful and inspiring music, which we were invited to listen to in silence. Some of the music was by Sweet Honey in the Rock, I believe, and was absolutely beautiful.
Campus security from adjacent St. Louis University helped keep everything working smoothly, keeping the sidewalk clear & etc, since we were standing on the steps in front of the cathedral at a very busy intersection. People ranged from toddlers to seniors with walker, and carried a variety of signs - Bring Our Children Home, Moms for Peace, We support Cindy & etc. My sign said "
This mother stands for peace."
After the music we observed a moment of silence in honor of those who gave their lives in Iraq, and then we listened to a tape of Cindy Sheehan, speaking before the Veterans for Peace convention the first weekend in August, in Dallas, TX. With candles lit, and Veterans for Peace flying the American flag, and other peace flags flying, we listened to some other speakers. A young Kucinich supporter, who heads a Progressive group at a local junior college, reminded us of the wonderful woman Peace Pilgrim, who spent the last half of her life walking for peace, trusting completely in Spirit to guide her, feed her, and give her shelter. She carried no money, nor food, nor water - and slept along the road, eating and drinking only when it was offered to her. There is a web site dedicated to her message, which will inspire you if you look it up. Many of those present were veterans, and many attending have loved ones in Iraq. Several local people will be heading down to Crawford soon. It was altogether an inspiring and moving evening, especially when the full moon rose in the eastern sky as we watched. Response from passing cars was almost constant, and almost always positive and we had news coverage from at least one local station (the Fox channel, of all things). One lone lady stood across the street with a pro-Bush sign. Bless her heart! I thought she was really brave.
I send much love & light to Cindy and her mom and to all those who keep the light burning at Camp Casey!

Just a report from the front lines. Just an incredible turnout. 200 in a little suburb. Everyone was proud and said, this is only the beggining, we have to keep going. The news stations were there and reporters as well. Nearly every car that drove by honked and gave us a peace sign.

Best sign. Sorry World, We Tried.

Waiting for the news coverage now. Another early news showed what looked like a thousand in a different suburb.

Brought my sister, she was the loudest, and her daughter. We sang, give peace a chance, we shall overcome, god bless america. Then we had a chant, one side of the street said, stop the war, then we chanted bring them home.

It felt so good to be there. If you ever have the chance, it feels great. Remember this is only the beggining.

Thank You, Cindy
And as I told the camera, God Bless, Casey

I was also at the Homewood vigil along with my 22 year old daughter. We met many very nice people......one was a mother who didn't say too much. The man with her told us her son is being deployed to Iraq. She is from Indiana. I asked if they tried to dissuade him from going and she sadly said "We tried everything." We were all out there for mothers like her. Not one more drop of blood should be spilled for these madmen in our White House. The feeling in Homewood Wednesday night was uplifting. You know the tide is turning, and that most Americans have come to the realization that we have all been duped....that these brave soldiers are dying for the greed and need for power of a few crazy madmen. Many of the people we spoke with in Homewood want to keep vigils like this one going......maybe once a month. PEACE to eveyone.

Last night 105 people mostly from the boro of Staten Island in New York stood on the steps of Boro Hall right across from the Staten Island Ferry with a breath taking view of Manhatten Island where the Twin Towers use to stand. I was thrilled to see that in the "republican" boro of Staten Island there were so many people concerened about what was going on in Crawford and the nerve of the president not to take responsiblity for the lies and loss of life we have to endure. This is not a game but he is playing with our lives and the lives of our children. There was a gentleman there last night from Veterans for Peace that read the poem written by Cindy's daughter and that for me was the high point of the night. Debra, the lady that organized it had 11 crosses that she wrote names on and stood them on the steps and lite a candle in front of each one. They were for 11 men that lost there lives in Iraq in the same unit that her husband is in. He is to arrive home in 3 weeks. I'm happy to say that we decided to return next Wednesday to continue the vigil and I hope if anyone that is reading this who lives near the area will join us. 7:30 Be safe and Peace to all..Thank you.

I wanted to add that We made the FRONT PAGE of the Staten Island Advance and I'm sure that ruffled a few feathers! WE THE PEOPLE WILL BE HEARD! Thanks.

Keep up the good work!

Well over 200+ NY Capital District residents assembled peacefully in front of the Saratoga Springs, NY Post Office on the corner of Broadway and Church with white candles and placards at 7:30 p.m. Many tourists and local residents passing by in cars honked in solidarity. As the evening light faded, the entire group marched peacefully down the length of Broadway past the full and busy bistros, cafes and restaurants, where many nodded in agreement and flashed peace signs. I, personally, had the great honor of marching beside a former Marine and Vietnam War Vet who had donned his medals for the very first time since that conflict had ended. He felt it was important for people to know that he had served his country well and, therefore, had earned the right to be heard - the same as Cindy.

We ended the vigil where we began... assembled on the front steps of the Saratoga Springs Post Office. After promising to work tirelessly in the pursuit of truth and peace, we sang a rousing rendition of "America the Beautiful" and collected information that will enable us to keep the momentum of what Cindy Sheehan started growing.

The only two odd incidences that occurred during the course of this historical evening were the appearance of one young woman with an oversized poster of an aborted fetus that simply proclaimed: "Abortion". I took her aside and gently told her: "Sweetheart, War is Full Birth Abortion"... to which she agreed. The second incident occurred after the vigil, as we were returning to the parking lot. A large woman in a large SUV shouted at us: "Cindy is an embarrassment", I asked her: "Why? She hasn't lied and isn't responsible for anyone's death." Unable to answer, the woman simply sped away.

Peace & Love,
Cheryl

GOOD COME BACK! WE MUST MAKE PEOPLE REALIZE THAT THE ONLY ONE THAT'S AN EMBARRASSMENT IS THE PRESIDENT AND HIS CRONIES! WE THE PEOPLE SHALL PREVAIL!

I was at our vigil in Santa Barbara, Ca last night. I felt sad as I looked at all the candles because I knew we would not make any difference. It is pure bullshit because W controls everything. They have Diebold and the voting machines for the last election and the upcoming mid-term election. They control the $$ in the House, the Senate, the Supreme Court and all the 1000+ federal judges, the Religious Right , the whole media and our foreign policy. We let off steam and the W train gathers steam.

My brothers died in Vietnam 68-69, in Dong ha and Cua Viet. I killed many and many of my friends died or worse. I became a protester, it made me feel good, we had no candles and the killing went on.

These vigils are bullshit.

When you first kill it's horrible, as it continues we made a game out of it, how many gooks did you get, then finally I felt nothing.

You finally realize that it never ends. W and people like him always win.

George Ducott

you're right...but i don't want to end up a gold star mom...so i MUST speak out...even into the winds of war and the ignorance of misplaced patriotism...i still gotta do it...how will i feel if i DON't and my son never comes home?
there's no option. i'm going to go out SCREAMING .."king george you and your cronies are murderers and war criminals"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
i'm gonna scream it till i can't make sounds any more.then i'm gonna sign it.
this must be how those suicide bombers are born. we create them by the tens of thousands as each new casualty mounts in this invasion of choice. shame on us if we don't protest long, loud and clear.

These vigils are just the beginning -- we need widespread action to take out this entire regime. Not just Bush, but every damn person in power -- Democrats and Republicans -- are responsible for this war and for not doing anything to stop it when they had the chance. These vigils aren't bullshit, but they aren't the final goal at all. I advise you check out the World Can't Wait campaign with its stated goal to "Drive Out the Bush Regime" at http://www.worldcantwait.org and help build that as an alternative to candlelight vigils (which are good, but not enough!)

I attended a very emotional vigil at the Veteran's Park here in Port Angeles. There were about 65-70 participants there to support Cindy. There were only 2-3 negative comments from passing motorists, lots of support.

We stood in front of City Hall here in Downtown Delaware, Ohio we had 50+ people. I took my 5 yr old son and we all stood around with our candles lit. We stood lining the corner with our signs in hand. My husband is currently serving in Baghdad so this was all very emotional for myself and my family.

God Bless all the men and women of our Armed Forces.
God Bless you Cindy. I know your son Casey is looking down on you and smiling knowing that his brave Mother is doing this all for him and many many others!

Palm Springs, CA. did itself proud last night with probably at least 200 people from throughout the Coachella Valley holding candles and signs standing at the main intersection of downtown. This is the same location where many of us stood each Saturday morning several years ago begging this administration not to invade Iraq. The honking of passing motorists and their thumbs up gestures were gratifying as was the presence of reporters and camermen from two TV stations and photographers and scribes from the local newspaper. There's presently talk of making the vigil a weekly affair or trying to find some other way to make our voices heard and end the carnage and human sacrifices caused by a callous and cruel leadership devoid of all sensitivity and feeling.

a small wet crowd of sincere americans met at dock point(valdez, alaska) on the prince william sound. we were merely the seed of what is to come.
this is how we get our country back and save the lives of our loved ones as well as the innocent thousands of iraqis caught in the middle of king george's fantasy.
let's get louder and bigger and FORCE king george and herr cheney etc to LISTEN to the will of the people. WE are THEIR employers....it's time to show the world we DON'T agree with these madmen.
from now on...without letting up... let's show the bastards(our administration) who americans REALLY are. let's fire AND impeach them. we CAN do it if we just keep it up. WE CAN DO IT!!!!!!

We're just south of San Francisco and fortunate to be part of the bluest of the blue - peace vigils are part of life here. This was different - we were at a busy intersection that never has demonstrations. About 100 showed and spread out on 3 corners with signs and candles. Because we see so many demonstrations in the area motorists are immune to them - NOT THIS TIME! The support from people was overwhelming. It seemed at times that the honking, waving and peace signs were continual. It was all for Cindy's courage in asking for truth. Thankyou Cindy for giving the rest of us courage to stand up and be counted!

The last time I wrote, I was one day from flying to Crawford. I was having anxiety that night, wondering if I should go....I don't have any family or friends in Iraq.
Well, I did go....and with no regret.
I don't have to convince anyone that Cindy is incredible. We all know that. And you might hear that she's kind and sweet. It's true.
But what I learned about Cindy in 2 days was far beyond what the media has "reported" in 2 weeks.

She's had enough (of this administration), yet will not back down.
She's tough, yet gentle.
She's against this war, yet supports the troops 100%.
She's got celebrity-status, yet is still honest and humble.
She's your average American, yet she's a one-of-a-kind Christian....the real thing.

She is doing this unselfishly. Don't you forget that.
The woman is pure and beautiful.

Pray for Cindy and her mother. "Blessed are those who mourn." Something Bush and company don't understand.

Peace,
Kym

I went to a small one in Davidson, NC and took my teenagers, their first "peace vigil"! Very exciting to see the support of about one hundred folks and inspired the teenagers to try to do something at their school which starts next week! Don't quit Cindy, soon the whole nation will be behind you!

We here in Naples Florida had our own Camp Casy at Conners Park and we supported Cindy Sheehan and held a candle lite vigil with 73 like minded souls many were veterans.We had a large wooden sign with the total American soldiers killed in Iraq 1,858, a couple of crosses with flowers and candles with name and age of soldiers from south Florida who have been killed in Iraq.I brought a poster with photos of both my sons who were in Iraq.Across the street we had 6 pro Bush and Cheney supporters.They left early and we waved and said our good bye's to them. All six of them.We beleive the tide is turning as we out numbered them 12-1.

I was there too at the vigil in Wellington, Florida (the infamous Palm Beach County). Like the post earlier, I must agree that it was inspiring to attend this vigil. My heart was warmed to see the turnout of attendees and the passion they had for this cause. Even more thrilling was the response from the cars driving by. For the one Bushie supporter who sped by angrily, we got 10 cars who drove by beeping, giving peace signs and thumbs up in support. A fire truck even joined in as it passed, blasting their horns in support as well.
I felt like the tide is changing here - people are finally waking up from the nightmare sleep and realizing we've been duped. United we can do something about it!

My husband, my daughter, my son-in-lay, and I attended the vigil held in Garden City on Long Island New York. It was an amazing, warm, late-summer night...I think that nearly 250 people attended. There we all stood in the gathering dusk, holding candles, and talking softly with each other. Strangers became friends as we shared our common belief in the futility and hopelessness of war. We questioned why our leaders always think that war is the answer when it never is. We quietly sang "All we are saying...is give peace a chance." Then after an hour or so, people slowly walked into the darkness going home, their lit candles remained behind as a glowing witness to our belief that war is the ultimate defeat.

There must have been 35 or 40 people there. Patriots for Peace in Estes Park organized this vigil. We lit our candles, stood in a circle and interspersed comments, a poem, and singing between the silences. How ironic and tragic that 40 years later we are once again immersed in a war sold to the American people with lies. We are all responsible for what our government has done. We must stop this war and all future wars initiated with deception, greed, disregard for truth, people, and international law. In whatever ways we contribute to the war-making of our government, we must find alternative ways of doing things.

To the Editor: Last night I participated in a peace vigil on the bridge between Damariscotta and New Castle, Maine. It was the first time I have done such a thing. I did not do it when I was a young mother with an infant and sent my husband off to the Vietnam War to fly 200 combat missions off the USS Enterprise, during two 8 month deployments almost 40 years ago. I did not do it when our president lied to convince our nation to attack Iraq in a war of liberation. Liberation quickly became occupation, and democracy is rapidly being downscaled to Islamic state. Before our very eyes each night we learn of soldiers killed and now wonder why. That question has resounded across the country this August. While the halls of government have been vacated, the quest for truth of one courageous woman, Cindy Sheehan, has galvanized hundreds of thousands of citizens who yearn for peace, who decry killing in our name, who work to open minds to solutions not the repetition of false hopes and lies. I was proud last night to stand with a hundred or more fellow citizens on a bridge to peace. The majority of vehicles passing by "honked for peace" with great enthusiasm. Candles shedding light into darkness held by all ages, children to seniors, promised a new focus for America - a focus on change, a focus on truth, a focus on justice and honor, a focus on all that we Americans have held dear for all my life..... until the past 4 years. I will participate again - soon, I believe. In September our government will return from overly long wartime vacations to find a changed climate. Polls now show that Americans do not support Bush's war. Voices are being raised to CHANGE the course, not STAY the course. I am thankful that we live in a country where we can raise our voice, express our opinions and that our local newspaper provides that forum for people of different persuasions. It will take voices of many points of view, wisdom of different experiences, and tolerance and willingness to listen to each other to solve the quagmire of Iraq. If only our president would lead that effort by meeting with Cindy Sheehan, we would have a role model of integrity instead of narrowmindedness. It's a sad scenario, sure to become more entrenched in Washington, D.C. in September. Just like the quagmire of Iraq, an exit strategy from Bush's enclave of silence in Crawford is in need of negotiation and crisp thinking.....offering not much of a promise for a solution to a war blown beyond all possible imagination of horror. Barbara Carr New Harbor, Maine

As others have mentioned, Wednesday night's vigils (ours was one of several in Cleveland, OH) seemed different than any since the Iraq War began. With much less organizing and promotion (or maybe just accumulated skill and constituency building by internet groups?), 170 people showed up at our site. I expected 12-15 when I agreed to host. It felt more spontaneous, more heart-felt, less grim, more awakening, more life affirming than dozens of other protests and vigils I have attended or worked on in the last two and a half years. To keep it going, let me make one suggestion or reminder: The United Nations International Day of Peace is Sept. 21, every year. World-wide, growing numbers of vigils are being held, and more are encouraged--spontaneous ones like we just experienced, or carefully planned ones. Let this spirit of peace, possibility, and power of people to overcome powers of destruction continue to bloom!

Yes, I have replied to the Green Bay Press Gazette about the use of our fine soldiers for artificial democracy and the control of the World's raw materials by the wealthy, powerful, greedy and controlling. Our soldiers are being used as slaves to fight a war for the Bush buddies and it is that simple. As a 51 year old man I will not allow my fellow American soldiers to be used as pawns for many hidden agenda's. I love that sweet lady, Cindy and all that she stands for as not just the mother of a fallen soldier but a Mother who cares about all humanity.

My family went to the vigil in very conservative Naperville Illinois. There were 300 people there. I'm very proud of everyone who came and especially of my wife. See the link to read an article in Chicago's third biggest paper.

http://www.dailyherald.com/news/dupagestory.asp?id=84337

We need a plan to fix things. The plan to break things went great. Unfortunately, there were no plans to fix anything.

When I think of a vigil I think of a meditative group, heads bowed over candles. Standing before the sunset on a bridge in Minneapolis with 1200 others(this number reported in Star Tribune on 8/18), our vigil in support of Cindy Sheehan felt more like a rallying recognition of just how many people are opposed to this war. Traffic rushing by was quite steady and the vast majority honked enthusiastically and gave us the thumbs up or peace sign. City bus drivers, cab drivers, a tow truck and food delivery guy joined in the noise of solidarity. In an hour and a half I only heard one negative remark come from a vehicle-an SUV not too ironically- someone yelled "losers," and I thought, yes we are all losers with this war, all of us.

I arrived a little late, but as I drove upon the busy intersection, I first saw the light...the glowing altar of candles surrounded by a group of about 80 people brought tears to my eyes. Demonstrators in this community have been subject to intense police scrutiny, so I wanted to hug every one of the men, women and children who gathered. We held signs, waved to passers-by, many of whom honked in support, and we planned ways to continue to be heard. Cindy's simple, powerful message united the group, and I pray that her energy will keep us strong in the on-going battle for truth.

People gathered at NW 23rd Avenue (Nob Hill District) holding candles and Cindy signs, side-by-side, with plenty of local media coverage. Humanity at its finest moment. People from all walks of life, with one common goal. People cried, cars honked their horns in support, while the candles burned in earnest. 693 people registered for this vigil, but more showed up it seemed. A very peaceful event, but I sensed a minor police presence. MANY first-timer activists, including myself. Someone even interviewed me briefly! Prior to that, NW 23rd Avenue was just another ritzy shopping district for me to drop the dollars at. I'll never feel the same, ever. Good. Thank you Tracy for your volunteer work and Dan for the invite. This isn't over until it's over. Peace, Love & Chicken Grease......

Dear Folks: About 50 of us held a vigil in West Lafayette Indiana. In this sea of red we had a lot of truckers honking in support. Bless their teamster (or indy) hearts. If you can get people marching in Indiana, the current regime is really in trouble!! Take heart from us. We are becoming more purple every day! Our hearts go out to Cindy and all the other mothers losing children daily because of the current misguided administration.

Terrific!! Having grown up partly in red neck country (Greensburg, IN, 50 years ago), your message gives hope to those of us who fled in despair. Keep up the good fight, and thanks for your courage.

AMERICAN FOE
A long, long time ago...
But I can still remember
9/11 and the Afghan War;
And I thought Bush would be the one
To keep the terrorists on the run
But I can't really think that any more.

'Cause last November made me shiver
From Diebold arrows in their quiver
Fox was in the henhouse;
And blood spilled from the Ex-Souse.

I remember feeling tossed
About the stolen election's cost
And a goof whose goofiness embossed
The day the voters lost.

So hello, real American foe.
Drove my Prius just to free us,
When the gas gauge was low.
But Bush yes-men were preaching oil and dough
Singing, "This'll be the way that we go.
"This'll be the way that we go."

Was their plan "Attack Iraq",
And were they in league with the Union Jack,
'Cause the Bible told them so?
Now do they believe that the Earth is flat,
So they don't care if Marines go splat,
But they'll swallow a camel to strain out a gnat -- real slow.

Well, I know that they're in love with sin
`cause I saw the hypocritic grin.
Dubya kicked the booze,
But he still prefers to snooze.

He's just an ex-drunk combat-dodging goof
With some rich relations and some hidden proof
And I knew we were out of truth
The day the voters lost.

I started singing,
"Hello, real American foe.
Drove my Prius just to free us,
When the gas gauge was low.
But Bush yes-men were preaching oil and dough
Singing, "This'll be the way that we go.
"This'll be the way that we go."

Well, for five years we've been under thumb
And Boss Tweed wasn't half this dumb,
But that's not how it's s'posed to be.
When the Chief Goof brayed that the job was done
On a ship that shimmered in the sun
With a voice that came from Dick and Don.

Oh, but while Saddam was hunkered down,
Iraqis stole his whole damn town.
The country's still a wreck;
Because no plan was in effect.
And while Dubya sang the book of Rove,
Halliburton stole a treasure trove,
And Iraqis suffered by the droves
The day the voters lost.

They started singing,
"Hello, real American foe.
Drive your Prius just to free us,
When your gas gauge is low.
But Bush yes-men are preaching oil and dough
Singing, "This'll be the way that we go.
"This'll be the way that we go."

Helter skelter, in a winter swelter.
We found Hussein in a spider's shelter,
But Eighteen hundred and rising fast.
They all land quiet at the base.
The papers tried for an honored place,
But chickenhawks make reporters stay away.

Now the State of the Union was full of lies;
While companies made outsourcing ties,
The unions did protest,
Oh, but the news was put to rest!
`cause the Chief Goof claimed a new mandate
To take Security from our plate
Do you recall what was our fate
The day the voters lost?

We started singing,
"Hello, real American foe.
Drove a Prius just to free us,
When the gas gauge was low.
But Bush yes-men are preaching oil and dough
Singing, "This'll be the way that we go.
"This'll be the way that we go."

Oh, and then there was Abu Ghraib's place,
And a war policy in disgrace
With no time left to shift the blame.
So come on: Don be nimble, Don be quick!
Rummy sat on a judgment stick
But Dubya won't fire the devil's friends.

And as I watched Karl on the stage
My hands were clenched in fists of rage.
No Deep Throat hero came
To douse that traitor's flames.
And as Mrs. Plame crashed into the night
To light their sacrificial rite,
I saw Osama laughing with delight
The day the voters lost.

And he was singing,
"Hello, real American foe.
Drive your Prius just to free us,
When the gas gauge is low.
But Bush yes-men are preaching oil and dough
Singing, "This'll be the way that we go.
"This'll be the way that we go."

I met a Mom who sang the blues
And she asked Bush for some happy news,
But he just smirked and turned away.
I went down to the voting booth
Where I'd helped the nation face the truth,
But the NeoCons said the machines wouldn't play.

Now most schoolkids are left behind,
Preachers rule what searchers find.
And each law is a token;
The checks and scales are broken.
And the men admired by the Beast:
Osama and his evil priests,
They caught the lightning that was greased
The day the voters lost.

And they're all singing,
"Hello, real American foe.
Drive your Prius just to free us,
When the gas gauge is low.
But Bush yes-men are preaching oil and dough
Singing, "This'll be the way that we go.
"This'll be the way that we go."

They're still singing,
"Hello, real American foe.
Drive your Prius just to free us,
When the gas gauge is low.
But Bush yes-men are preaching oil and dough
Singing, "This'll be the way that we go."

This is inspired! Thanks.

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