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Peace Vigil Conversations

A woman came up at the Peace Vigil at the Princeton Courthouse the other Wednesday and asked me. "Can I give each of you a hug to say thank you for your courage to stand up for peace and question this war? Then, on the edge of tears and with obvious anxiety, she took 10-15 minutes to share her feelings.

"I just want to thank each of you for having this vigil. People seldom protest war anymore thank you so much. My husband is in the National Guard and a US soldier in Iraq. My husband has been there for 10 months with 8 to go. He is part of transport unit base in Kuwait that periodically travels to Baghdad -- a very dangerous job these days. I sure hope and pray he comes home alive. Neither he nor his fellow soldiers believe we should be there. Saddam Hussein never did anything to us. Seems we are just there for the oil." She had her 3 children under 5 with her, one wore a shirt that said, "Where is my BagDaddy?" Say a prayer for the family.

A friend reflected, “ Unaware you were being a real listening servant to her. You provided a safe place for her to express her pain and hurt, something hard to find in the air of patriotism presence today.

Another passerby wound down his window, and shouted, "I was a Vietnam vet, and I really appreciate what you are doing. Please keep it up". He than gave us a big thumbs up.

Then more recently a woman walked a half a block out of her way to say, " I just want to say thank you for what you are doing, keep it up."

Another parent who has had a daughter in Iraq who passes the vigil most weeks said to me, "Keep up your peacemaking."

Our numbers have been swelling lately. I invite you to join us 11:30-12:30 on Wednesdays to let your light shine for peace? .

As one of our signs says, "Remember the Suffering US Troops and Families".

Jim Fitz
Tiskilwa, IL

PS. this was printed in the Peoria and Princeton papers in the letter to the editor column.

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