Friday, March 19, 2004

The raising of voices

It was hardly noticed - but the meaning will not be lost. In Vietnam, it took 10 years for it to happen in any significant way - this time it took one.

It was Gold Star families marching in protest of the war.

This past Sunday, over 250 members of military families who have lost children in Iraq protested at the US air base in Dover, Delaware, where the dead are returned to the states. On Monday, over 100 gathered at Walter Reed Army Hospital in DC, where the war's most seriously wounded recuperate, then marched to the White House.

"Anyone who has been killed over there has died in vain," said Sue Niederer of Pennington, NJ. "What are we there for?"

Not all the anti-war families make the same protests. Some want troops out now, some want to stay and "do it right" as a means to justify their loss. Others are angry about the lack of proper training and equipment. Most are frustrated by delays in providing causes of death or return of personal effects. But
[v]irtually all resent the fact they lost family members under false pretences because they are convinced no weapons of mass destruction will ever be found.
Notably, Rosemarie Dietz Slavenas of Rockford, IL, called the search for banned weapons a "snipe hunt."

I couldn't have said it better.

Footnote: And where did I first learn of this? ABC? NBC? CNN? The New York Times? Surely you jest. It was the Toronto Star. There was some coverage after the fact - which I had to dig for - but nothing before.

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