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From Denver Post
Colorado vigils offer support for protest at Bush ranch
By Jim Kirksey, Daarel Burnette and Christopher Ortiz
Denver Post Staff Writers
Hundreds of Coloradans joined thousands of people across the country Wednesday evening in supporting the mother of a soldier slain in Iraq who is camped out near President Bush's Crawford, Texas, ranch, protesting the war.
About 100 people joined hands in a line and stretched across Interstate 70 in Golden, about 80 gathered at a busy intersection in Fort Collins to wave anti-war signs at passing traffic, and as many as 700 formed a circle of lighted candles in Denver's Civic Center to sing and show their support for Cindy Sheehan.
Sheehan, 48, of Vacaville, Calif., has been outside Bush's ranch for nearly two weeks demanding an accounting from the president on the war in Iraq.
Anti-war groups were part of more than 30 vigils scheduled Wednesday evening across Colorado in what one organizer called "a prayer to end war."
The organizers - MoveOn.org Political Action, True Majority and Democracy for America - said there were 1,600 such vigils across the country, some with a handful of protesters, some with hundreds.
A vigil was also set for Paris' Peace Wall, a glass monument near the Eiffel Tower that says "peace" in 32 languages.
The vigils included about 100 protesters in Crawford; 150 in Concord, N.H.; 200 in Cincinnati's Fountain Square; 300 in a Nashville, Tenn., park; and 200 on the steps of the Oklahoma Capitol in Oklahoma City.
A Denver crowd estimated at 700 by organizer Azlan White formed a large circle in Civic Center on Wednesday evening.
"This is about moms," Angela Lawrence said at the Denver vigil with her two young daughters. "Cindy has lost her son, and that's what this is about."
Steve Brose had another slant. "I want to support the troops," he said. "I want to help the troops get out of this stupid war."
Bill Holman, a Vietnam War veteran and president of Colorado Veterans for America, said with dismay, "Thirty-five years ago, I was doing the same thing on college campuses."
Drivers honked their horns in support as they passed the vigil in Fort Collins.
"I agree with her," Toni Theisen of Loveland said of Sheehan. "She's a grieving mother. How can the right be so callous?"
At the Golden vigil, Rich Farley of Denver, paralyzed from the waist down by wounds he suffered in the Vietnam War, said, "This war's a farce."
Sitting apart from the others, Farley said, "This war is the same thing all over again. When we came home, nobody wanted us here. We want these guys home. They deserve that."
Gaye Lowe of Wheat Ridge said her soldier son just returned from Iraq and is to leave for Afghanistan next month.
Lowe said she is against the war for a selfish reason. "I don't want my son to die," she said.
Some critics say Sheehan is exploiting her son's death to promote a left-wing agenda. They say many Americans, including relatives of soldiers killed in Iraq, support Bush and his plans to keep troops there.
Staff writer Jim Kirksey can be reached at 303-820-1448 or email@example.com.