Today is Tuesday, January 23, 2007. This was the first Peace March that I know of, here in Ashland, Wisconsin, that was held without some kind of sponsorship from an organization. This was a true grass roots effort. People talking about the fact that they feel so helpless in our attempts to end the war.
I personally felt that I must make an effort to do something more than the occasional letter to the Senator or Congressperson from our State. I decided on this Peace March strategy. I said I would march, carrying a sign that asked for peace and an end to the war, once per week at a prescribed time.
I have seen this done in other cities. The Veterans for Peace have such displays in Duluth. They meet once per week on a busy street corner in the downtown area and hold signs of protest. I wanted to start something like this in Ashland, WI, where I live.
I announced this endeavor at the Black Cat Coffee Shop one morning last week. I decided to start my march for peace on Tuesdays at 4:00PM. Today was the first one. Peace March #1. I will attempt to journalize on these pages what took place and add almanac comments and pictures, when we have them, as well.
Today was a sunny afternoon in Ashland. The temperature hovered around 20 degrees. A slight wind out of the Northwest off Lake Superior. The sun sure made it feel pretty good. I started at 4:00PM with this hour long march because right now, in this hemisphere, it gets dark right around 5:00PM. As the weeks and months pass, the daylight will gain and we'll always be in daylight as we march. I pray that we won't need to be out here for many months and that the end of the war will come sooner rather than later.
I say "We", because I announced the march, but others, through only word of mouth, showed up. There were seven of us at one time. Not bad for the first attempt with no fanfare or advertising.
I carried a sign that I made at home. Another carried a 3' X 5' Peace Sign Flag. Still another had a hand held sign. One fellow was passing out copies of the Declaration of Independence and has commited $10.00 per week for copying fees to continue this practice. Two others just showed up and stood on the corner and waved. Lastly, a good friend brought his camera and took some photos. All these wonderful shots were taken by Shutterwi, make sure you check out his wonderful Northwoods photographs at his blog site.
We have begun. A few folks in a small town, doing something to hopefully help end the war. If we have convinced one person to write a letter or speak out, we are successful in our minds.
Honks, thumbs up and waves were plentiful. I tried counting but quit as I was overwhelmed. I did see one man shake his head in disgust when he looked at me with my sign. I had one other report of a thumbs down by one of the other marchers, Noone reported getting flipped off.
We are proud Americans today. Here are some pictures from Peace March #1 in Ashland, WI.
On the corner of Chapple and Main. Beautiful ice covered Lake Superior in the background.
One of the hand held signs held by a 73 year old Korean War Veteran
The Veteran walks for Peace