San Pedro Neighbors for Peace and Justice will be observing our 260th. consecutive "Vigil to End the Iraq War" this coming Friday evening, 3/14, from
5-7PM at the intersection of First and Gaffey streets which also coincides with international observance of the "Fifth Anniversary of the Beginning of the Iraq War".
During rain and shine,cold and darkness our group numbering from over one hundred protesters at the beginning to our recent average of about a dozen each Friday evening have gathered in an unbroken chain of protest. During this five years I would conservatively estimate that over a quarter million automobiles, buses, and trucks have passed the intersection and probably one out of ten, or twenty five thousand drivers and their passengers have honked their horns or given "thumbs ups" showing their support of our efforts.
We also get an average of a half dozen middle finger salutes with corresponding profanities each vigil. The war continues on with a soon to be reached four thousand deaths of U.S. military personnel and over one million Iraqis, men, women and children who we need to be reminded are members of families like our own. This Friday evening we are going to do something different and we invite those of you who would like to show your support to join us for a few moments of your precious time. We will announce the names of the war dead while a bell tolls and Bruce Springsteen sings " Bring Them Home" the haunting refrain sung by Pete Seeger during the Vietnam War. You are invited to stand with us around a flag covered casket as we honor all those killed in this war that our government proposes to extend perhaps for the next half century in it's unholy "Quest for Oil" .
We will hold candles and remain silent. There will be only two signs, one a banner saying "Bring Them Home" and one other sign indicating that this commemorates the fifth anniversary of the war. We also would like to have a volunteer Honor Guard in uniform present with someone playing an occasional "Taps" if volunteers can be found. You will be asked to spend only as long as you see fit and when you are through you will pass your candle off to someone else and quietly leave to return to the peace and safety of your home and family.