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Day 1 - Nick Kimbrell Begins His March to End the War
Thursday, May 24th, Nicholas Kimbrell, a recent graduate of the University of Virginia, will begin a five day march from Charlottesville, VA to Washington DC to protest the war in Iraq. The walk will begin at UVa's storied Rotunda and end Monday at the White House. Read his regular updates here.
Day 1 - Nick Kimbrell begins his 5-day march to protest the war in Iraq today at 9 AM departing from the University of Virginia’s Rotunda. His march will take him 125 miles from historic Charlottesville past the beautiful and historic Blue Ridge Mountains into the nation’s capitol to the “People’s House.” Nick, co-founder of UVA’s Students for Peace in Iraq, opposed the war as founded on lies and deceit. He was inspired to undertake the trek by John Grisham’s commencement address last Sunday.
During it, Grisham shared three lessons he’s learned. First, “You cannot plan your life. Dreaming is a worthy pastime. Planning is a waste.” Then, Grisham, who graduated in 1977, recalled how then everyone knew someone who had died in Vietnam, who came home in “fifty-eight thousand boxes.” “We were told it was necessary to protect our interests...(that) we were winning and winning and winning and more troops were needed. As the war dragged on and grew worse, so did the lying. Lesson number two: When politicians get the itch to go to war, don’t believe much of what they say.” The third lesson points out both a national shortcoming and an opportunity. Noting that the 1970’s energy crisis is still current and now expanded to encompass global warming brought Grisham to lesson number three: “Your generation must have the courage to save the environment, because the prior generations did not.”
“I’ve been against this war for a long time. And it finally just clicked while I was listening to Grisham. Anti-war people need to make sacrifices for their cause, just like soldiers do, and this is a way to make a symbolic statement myself after graduation,” Nick noted.
Nick will walk 10-12 hours a day, covering 25 or so miles a day along Route 29, as the state police suggested. He wants to highlight three things by his march.
First, that all Americans – even we activists – are complicit for our government’s actions on Iraq, complicit in each death and injury.
Second, Nick wants to demonstrate, especially over this Memorial Day weekend, that honoring our troops and their sacrifices, and being grateful to the troops for them, is separate from honoring their leaders who are commanding those sacrifices – especially since they themselves have not fought.
And third, Nick wants to underscore that there’s not enough sacrifice by mainstream Americans to end the war.
The University of Virginia’s founder, Thomas Jefferson, would be delighted to hear Nick’s words becoming actions. Jefferson himself remarked, "Lethargy [is] the forerunner of death to the public liberty."