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From Foster's Daily Democrat (Dover, NH)
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Candlelight vigil in Portsmouth shows support for woman whose son died in Iraq

By ERIN DOLAN
Democrat Staff Writer

PORTSMOUTH — The Port City was one of many communities across the nation that took part in a sunset candlelight vigil Wednesday night in honor of Cindy Sheehan, the mother who is protesting the war in Iraq near President George W. Bush's ranch in Texas.

Sheehan, of Vacaville, Calif., began the vigil on Aug. 6 to honor her son Casey who was killed in Iraq last year.

More than 125 people congregated in Market Square for Wednesday's vigil, which was organized by Seacoast Peace Response with MoveOn.org Political Action, TrueMajority and Democracy for America.

"I think she represents all the people who are opposed to the war, particularly the military families and everyone who is in harm's way," said David Diamond, a SPR member.

Amy Antonucci, also a member of SPR, said she admires Sheehan.

"I think she's a brave, amazing woman and I am very grateful to her for taking these risks and bringing her personal mission out of just the personal, and letting others take part," Antonucci said. "Hopefully this will lead to an earlier end to the war."

People of all ages, from infant to elderly, took part in the vigil. They held signs, waved flags, clutched candles and waved to passing motorists, many of whom beeped their horns in support. They ignored those few who shouted obscenities.

Pat Hampton from Pennsylvania stopped in Portsmouth on her way through New Hampshire to her camp in Hope, Maine. She said she was in Portsmouth once before and saw a SPR event in Market Square, and she knew there would be an event in Portsmouth in honor of this vigil. When she arrived on Wednesday, she asked at the library and found out about the event in the square.

"I just knew this town would be doing something," she said. "I think it's wonderful. It's about time somebody took a stand."

SPR member Macy Morse said she cries when she thinks about Sheehan.

"I have 11 sons, and one of them was in Vietnam," she said. "I'm crying for that poor woman."

Shannon Darr of Eliot said she has taken part in other anti-war vigils before, and she despairs when she thinks about the future of the U.S. She wishes the vigils had more of an effect on the U.S. government's policies, she said.

"I think Cindy Sheehan is doing just what we need her to do," Darr said.

Related Articles and Media

Article: Candlelight vigils held nationwide to protest war
Article: New Hampshire peace activists participate in nationwide vigils

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PHOTOS IN LINK:

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More than 100 people gathered in Portsmouth's Market Square to hold a candle light vigil in support of Cindy Sheehan whose son was killed recently in Iraq. Sheehan has been protesting outside President Bush's Crawford, Texas ranch just wanting to talk to him face to face ever since her son was killed. (Steve Drozell/Staff photographer)

Steve Drozell/Staff photographer Dennis Kepner, from Hampton, and his wife Susan stood, with many others, in front of the North End Church in Portsmouth Wednesday evening for a candle light vigil in support of Cindy Sheehan who is protesting outside President Bush's ranch in Texas because her son was killed in Iraq.

© 2005 Geo. J. Foster Company

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