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Vigils - a first for Palo Alto

Original post made by Elaine Elbizri, Downtown North, on Mar 20, 2007

Five neighborhood vigils in Palo Alto commemerated the anniversary of war last night - 19th March. This is a first where palo altans meet together in their neighborhoods to express their demand for this war to end and for the US troops to come home. There were from 30 to 75 people at each vigil many of them making a public expression for the first time.
Coordinated by MoveOn vigils were held in Midtown, Bowden Park, Town & Country & the City Hall Plaza. A vigil was also sponsored by Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice at First United Methodist Church.
Some poingnant moments included "a special moment in Midtown when a woman saw our vigil and came over to tell us about her son-in-law (a Native American) who is back from Iraq, having nightmares, and facing a possible re-deployment. She thanked us for being there, and working to end the war. She described the painful effect the war and her son-in-law's deployment is having upon her entire
A mother of a marine who came with some trepidation to the City Plaza told of her anxiety for her son who is in his third term in Iraq and his friends who joined up to serve their country not expecting such a war. She appealed to everyone to have a care for soldiers as they return home.
At Bowden Park demonstrators met around a Peace sign made of flowers. They waved their banners at passing motorists on Alma. Demonstrators at El Camino got a lot of support from honking motorists.
The City Hall Vigil stood in a circle and each person spoke up about why they were there and what action they would like to see happen. Bring the troops home was an overwhelming feeling. One person talked about the establishment of a Department of Peace. Another called on people to withdraw bank accounts from banks that are funding and profiting from this war. There was a call to get Democrats in Congress to shoulder their responsibility for ending this war.
This vigil was attended by Peter Drekmeyier and Dana Mossar from the City Council. Peter expressed support for the vigil and reminded citizens that they could address the council at Council meetings about their concerns.

Comments (3)

Posted by Chesty Puller
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Mar 20, 2007 at 8:56 pm

I wasn't there. I'm a Palo Altan, but I support the troops, and I hope we are successful in Iraq as soon as possible, and then everyone can come home.

Posted by Walter E. Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 21, 2007 at 7:10 am

Wars are lost when the will is gone. That Marine's mother is urging on the people who would kill her son.

Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 21, 2007 at 9:55 am

I agreed with going into Iraq at the time we did it. I thought the reasons justified it. (I believed the lies being told about WMD and I didn't like the way Saddam refused to comply with agreements set up after the first Gulf War.) What I DIDN'T like was the way we did it. We talked about winning hearts and minds, but we failed to turn words into actions and behavior. We turned the whole project into an economic boon for Haliburton, which overcharged while botching. We compromised our own principles on human rights all over the place. We took the "Go it alone" attitude instead of working with the rest of the world on the problem. We keep claiming moral high-ground when we are not there.

Unfortunately, I am afraid we passed the point where there are any good options left long ago. The place we are now is exactly where Saddam set us up to be, stuck to the tar baby. The big picture is now much bigger and more complex than it should be, due to our own actions, inactions, and bad choices.

I don't know what the best choices would be going forward, every direction is fraught with peril. I *DO* know that we are not going to execute ANY good solutions as long as Bush and his crew are in charge, I don't believe they are interested in good solutions that are not self-serving. I *DO* know that I am concerned about our people over there, but I am also concerned about the people of Iraq. We need a very bright and good leader to deal with that situation, and Bush, by his own admission, is "not the sharpest tool in the shed."

I never thought I would say this, but I miss Bill Clinton.

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