Nationwide Candlelight Vigils Protest War In Iraq
August 17, 2005
CRAWFORD, Texas Hundreds of candlelight vigils calling for an end to the war in Iraq lit up the night Wednesday, part of a national effort spurred by one mother's anti-war demonstration near President Bush's ranch.
Cindy Sheehan urged the vigils. She has become the icon of the anti-war movement since she started a protest Aug. 6 in memory of her son Casey, who died in Iraq last year.
Sheehan says she will remain outside the president's ranch until he meets with her and other grieving families, or until his month long vacation there ends.
Bush has said he sympathizes with Sheehan but has made no indication he will meet with her. Two top Bush administration officials talked to Sheehan the day she started her camp, and she and other families had met with Bush shortly after her son's death.
More than 1,600 vigils were planned Wednesday from coast to coast by liberal advocacy groups MoveOn.org Political Action, TrueMajority and Democracy for America. A large vigil was also planned in Paris.
As the sun set in Crawford, about 200 protesters lit candles and gathered around a wooden, flag-draped coffin at Sheehan's growing camp, about a mile from the Bush ranch.
“For the more than 1,800 who have come home this way in flag-draped coffins, each one ... was a son or a daughter, not cannon fodder to be used so recklessly,