Friday, September 30, 2005
D.C. March and Protest 9/24-26/05
Ok! I finally figured out how to post pictures here. That's me in the blue "Peace Monger" shirt with my daughter and husband.
We spent 5 days in the DC area - and we spent 4 whole days in DC and I still only got to see a smidge.
It was a very moving trip - from the sightseeing to the rally/march and protest at the White House.
We saw the Lincoln Memorial - really beautiful (and huge), the Viet Nam Memorial (I told my little girl that each name represented a soldier who died, and her reply was: "I wish there weren't so many names"), the WWII Memorial (I need to go back and spend more time there -it's incredible), the Washington Monument and the Capitol. It was SOOOOO hot that day!
I have to say, although I am for the most part a pacifist, of course, I still believe that we must resort to war sometimes. WWII was justified...I think that goes without saying.
The rally/march on Saturday was fantastic. There were 150,000 people in attendance. As you may have read, it was the largest demonstration since the start of the war.
The march took much longer than expected, so we missed Joan Baez. Oh well - she'll be at the next one, I'm sure!
Cindy Sheehan spoke at the rally before the march. Although she only spoke briefly, she just hit everything dead on and she really energized the crowd.
I was so glad that it was a peaceful march - there were only 3 arrests for minor offenses. My little 7 year old marched along w/ us - her godfather and his wife joined us. She said afterward that her feet hurt - not from walking but from getting stepped on! Poor babe.
I also protested at the White House on Monday. I was right next to the fence, but then heeded the warnings about arrests (aw)and got right behind the barricade - I wasn't sure how long I'd be held, and we were to fly at 5:30. NEXT TIME I'll make better plans and stay longer!
I was there for about 3 hours. I lost my voice, but it felt so good. People from all walks of life - black, white, old, young, straight, gay, clergymen, Buddhist monks, and MOST importantly, Iraqi vets.
I spoke to a very cute young soldier who served there when the war began. I asked him if other soldiers felt the way he did - he said "oh yes, definately, but we don't have the luxury of free speech in the service, so you could end up in deep shit and lose the benefits we nearly die for." I asked him about morale, and he said it's VERY VERY LOW. The soldiers live in constant fear, it's very dangerous, they're worrying about their families, their families worry about them. They know that once they go home, chances are they'll be deployed again...it's very hard.
I also met a mother from Scotland who lost a son, she founded an organization (I have to look again at my picture) but it's something like "military families against the war."
I felt so good flying home, I don't feel so alone anymore - because most people around me honestly do not have any feelings one way or another about this war. To see that others are as outraged and vocal about their feelings, really gave me a sense of hope. I've repressed so much anger about Bush, and it was starting to drain the life out of me.
We need to use our voice - that's what democracy is all about.