little Peace Gracie has grown. She will be 1 year old on 1/20
Here's how she looks now:
"Mrs. Spadoman" reporting from the corner of Chapple and Main, Ashland, Wisconsin for January 8th, 2008. At the time of the vigil the death count was 3,911. Spadoman is out of town fulfilling a family obligation.
It was a cold, damp day, the beautiful piles of snow have been reduced to ugly, dirty, pock marked lumps. The wind was just enough to keep the Peace Flag fully unfurled, so there was no wondering why we were there. "Elder" Pat and I were joined by Kathy, a lifelong Ashland resident whose two sons are in the active military, one currently in Iraq and the other soon to be deployed to Afghanistan. She is a proud and worried mother, you can see it in her face and hear it in her voice. I don't know what to say to people when they tell me they have a loved one serving. I'm thinking "I'm sorry", but that doesn't sound right, I'm not sorry that they have raised a child who is willing to serve their country, I'm sorry that they have to worry, to be afraid of unthinkable things because their loved one has been placed in harms way for a lie. To say "I'll pray for them" seems like shallow words too, and the Bob Dylan song "With God On Our Side" plays in my head. I do pray that there is an end to war and the horrors it brings. Maybe someone out there can help me out, is there a correct thing to say, are there words that can comfort - I don't think so. To say "I'm sure they will be okay" is dismissive of the dangers they face, and a lie, you cannot go to war and ever really be okay again. You can't even say, "they'll be home soon" because they keep getting sent back! I chose to not say anything and just give her a hug.
Traffic was brisk today, we had a lot of positive reactions, the usual apathy, one thumbs down and a man in a truck who rolled down the window and hollered something about freedom not being free. Like he had to tell that to this mother of active soldiers, the grandmother of a soldier in Iraq and the wife of a Vietnam Vet!!! He must be one of those ignorant people who think all who demonstrate for peace are dirty hippies or unemployed bums who hate and don't support our troops
This is a copy of the letter "Elder" Pat wrote to send to the local paper:
To the editor:
This is to the jeering male in the mini-van re the
peace vigil on the post office corner Tuesday evening,
Of the three women standing there one Mother has two
sons in the military, both on combat duty, one in Iraq
and one in Afganistan. One Mother has a grandson
serving his third combat tour (one in Afganistan, two
in Iraq). One Mother is the wife of a combat Vietnam
Just what are you jeering at?
Patricia J. Ortman
These are the monthly death counts just since we began our vigil:
HOW MANY MORE? WHO PROFITS, WHO DIES