Fall was in the air today. At the start of the vigil, it was breezy and around 65 degrees. By the end of the hour, the wind was blowing hard and the temperature had dropped considerably.Quite a bit of cloudiness as well. Two of the participants were prepared. One with gloves and the other with earmuffs. Go figure. Must be locals.
There was a good turnout. Thirteen adults, one kid and a dog. One of the vigilers had a trumpet. I happened to have my kazoo in my pocket. We did an impromptu version of the always patriotic America the Beautiful. The trumpeter was a member of the Wisconsin based NukeWatch. NukeWatch was having an event in Ashland this evening. They joked about how we had the vigil as a reception for them. We were proud to tell them that we do this every week.
Another attendee was a woman from out of town who was thinking of moving to Ashland from Minnesota. She saw the postings for the vigil and decided to attend. Glad other progressive thinkers might want to move to Ashland.
We got a lot of horn honks from people. I neither saw nor heard any negative responses to our efforts today. Two women, who have never been to the vigil before, showed up with a large sign. The sign said, "Peace begins in the womb". I have always asked that the peace vigil stay on one issue. Peace and an end to war. Since our country is involved with a war in Iraq right now, it is pretty much understood that we want the war in Iraq to be over and the troops deployed back home.
I didn't say anything about their sign. I wondered to myself whether I should do anything or say anything. The main thing I see is that the message might be muddled if a passerby thinks it's an anti-abortion demonstration. I didn't say anything and will seek input from other attendees and see what they think. It is a public forum and free speech is still a right as far as the people involved are concerned. I wouldn't try to enforce a request that dictates what kind of signs anyone brings, even if it was pro war. What do you think?
Next week, we'll start meeting at 4:30 PM instead of 5:00 PM. This change will have us out there when more traffic is moving downtown in Ashland and also take advantage of the daylight available as Fall turns to Winter.
We talked about whether or not our demonstration is doing any good. All agreed that we must continue. After the dwindling numbers at Summer's end, it was good to see our average was building again. We just wish we wouldn't need to be out there at all.
Peace to all.