This event is being called the "Peace Vigil" or the "Vigil for Peace" now. Since we don't actually "march" anywhere and just mill around the intersection in town, we worded it differently. We also had a piece published in the Ashland Daily Press. Not a lead story, but in the Community Events section, the Peace Vigil and the times and dates is listed. It went like this:
A Vigil for Peace is held every Tuesday, from 5 - 6 p.m. at the corner of Chapple Ave. and Main Street in Ashland. Everyone is invited. This vigil is for the single issue of showing that there are people that want an end to war. Contact 685-9687 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or go to http://jspado1.blogspot.com for more information.
Yesterday was cold and snowy. It was around 20 dgress with no wind. We started the Vigil an hour later than we used to. This new time started yesterday. We used to go from 4PM to 5PM. When we first started meeting, it was dark at 5PM. Now, with the daylight being of longer duration, we started meeting at 5PM. Many folks have told us that they have work commitments that make it impossible to get there at four.
We did get a couple of newcomers and the participants totaled 10 again yesterday. A woman from the newspaper came by and asked some of us to speak into a tape recorder and took some pictures. We are uncertain as to whether there will be a news article about our vigil.
Many horn honks and waves yesterday. No one saw anyone flip us off or give the thumbs down. I'm sure there were some that did, we just didn't see any. Plenty of folks giving us the thumbs up. I am encouraged when I see a couple of new faces each time. I certainaly understand that everyone that comes can't come every week. It is good to have a steady number of people out there in the cold holding this Vigil for peace.
Hard to argue with that message. Peace. That's all we say. We want peace. We ask for an end to the war. People who disagree aren't really reading our signs or bothering to ask us what we're doing. We are simply saying that we want peace. We want to killing and death to stop. Our group purposely keeps it a single issue. We ask that all other issues be left at home. We'd love to blast this administration for all the trouble they have caused in the world, v but we simply go on from here and ask for peace.
Last week the sign said there were 3160 United States Military deaths since the Iraq war started. Yesterday's count was 3185. Twenty five in one week. That number will never ever go down. We want to stop it right there and not see years and years of war to make a point and have another war memorial wall with 58,000 names on it. The toll from Vietnam was more than that and as you know, that doesn't count those that die enroute to the hospital or on the operating table or after they come home and commit suicide or drink and drug themselves to death from reliving the trauma.
Deaths from suicide of the spouses left at home, the broken marriages and failed financial dealings are side effects as well. War takes a large toll. We haven't even mentioned the "other side". The Iraqi people that want some peace and are caught in the middle of war with no recourse. Nobody really wins anything. I wonder why negotiations or talks or cease fires are never mentioned. Does anyone know why that would be a bad thing? To stop the killing and see if anything could be done?
I'll have a mid week update. In the meantime, thanks for stopping by and reading about the Tuesday peace Vigil in Ashland, Wisconsin.