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Peace Mom's Tour Makes Stop In Tri-state

Reported by: AP/ 9News
Web produced by: Neil Relyea
Photographed by: 9News
9/7/2005 10:56:25 PM

A bus tour inspired by Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a fallen soldier, who camped out in front of President Bush's Texas home last month brought its message to Cincinnati Wednesday night.

The "Bring Them Home Now" tour stopped at St. Monica/ St. George Church in Clifton Heights to discuss why they think the war in Iraq is wrong.

Supporters of the soldier's mother who kept a vigil outside President Bush's ranch were greeted with applause from about 100 people in Cincinnati.

"This whole tour is about bringing the troops home now and that is a fight for humanity, for saving lives, for protecting the sacredness of of life," said Benjamin Hart Viges, a member of "Iraq Veterans Against The War."

Sheehan, who led the anti-war protest in Crawford, Texas for nearly a month, did not attend the rally Wednesday night. But relatives of other fallen US troops were there.

Bill Mitchell lost his son in the war.

The 54-year-old from Atascadero, California, says the war was based on lies and troops should be brought home.

"I don't want any more of our young men and women to die in this war," said Mitchell. "It was a bad war from the start, and it's a bad war now. It was based on lies."

Mitchell, a co-founder with Sheehan of Gold Star Families for Peace, said his son, Army Sgt. Michael Mitchell, was killed in action in Sadr City, Iraq, on April 4, 2004, along with Sheehan's son, 24-year-old Army Spc. Casey Sheehan.

Peggy Logue, 63, traveled to the rally from her home in Lebanon, Ohio.

Louge says she was impressed with the speakers and planned to attend rallies later this week in Columbus and Cincinnati.

Logue, whose son is in the Marines in Iraq, says the war is draining national resources from other priorities.

"As one of the speakers said tonight, our guard is not an international guard; it's a National Guard, and we need our troops here at home," said Logue, whose son, Lance Cpl. Michael Logue, is stationed in Iraq now with the Marine Reserves' 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines.

The peace activists' three-week bus tour to various cities is scheduled to go through Columbus on Thursday and Cleveland on Friday.

The tour will arrive in Washington, D.C. two weeks from now on September 21.

Activists plan to end their tour September 24 with a march in Washington.

Sheehan, of Vacaville, Calif., held her vigil in an unsuccessful attempt to question Bush about the war.

Earlier on Wednesday, sisters of Army Sergeant Chuck Kiser, who was killed in Iraq, urged continuing support for troops and their operation in Iraq at a counter rally in Columbus.

"The troops need to know that we are standing strong, but also the terrorists," said Denise Grannen, 46, a suburban Cincinnati homemaker.

About 20 people attended that event sponsored by Families United for Our Troops and Their Mission.




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