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In support of Cindy Sheehan we held a candlelight vigil in Princeton to pray for a quick and peaceful end to the war in Iraq on 8/17. We ended up sharing quite a bit. Below are two of the sharings and a photo.


Here you see the prayer vigil. It was comprised of a variety of folks which included starting left to right in yellow,a farmers wife, a farmer, a Orthodox priest,a filmmaker, Kim a nursing instructor,me, a social worker, and Emily a college student.

Emily Gorenz a Senior in college wrote:

During June and July I worked in Washington D.C with high school aged students. As part of this we visited the Naval Base at Annapolis, MD. During our first trip the Naval officer announced that we would be shown a video “to get us energized and our blood pumping.”. The film was officially designed to ‘pump up’ new recruits at the Naval Academy.

. The following is my recollection of what was shown to us that day:

Slow, moving, orchestral music emanated from the speakers as footage played of the planes crashing into the twin towers on 9/11, with words VENGEANCE, VENGEANCE flashing across screen.

Immediately following, the President was pictured behind a podium at Ground Zero assuring the country that the perpetrators of the atrocity would be brought to justice. Abruptly, the tone of the film changed: the screen became a green radar monitor reading, “DOS MODE: Mission Afghanistan.” The harsh rock of the music group Drowning Pool’s “Let the Bodies Hit the Floor” assaulted our ears at full blast:

"Let the bodies hit the floor, Let the bodies hit the floor, Let the bodies hit the floor, Let the bodies hit the...FLOOOOOOOR--" the voice screamed at us-- and I began to realize the full force of the message and purpose behind the film. "Beaten, why for. Can't take much more. One, Nothing wrong with me." Bomb after bomb dropped from planes onto buildings—‘targets.’ "Two, Nothing wrong with me. Three, Nothing wrong with me. Four, Nothing wrong with me." REDEMPTION flashed across the screen and the bombing continued. "One, Something's got to give. Two, Something's got to give."

GLORY flashing across the screen followed."Three, Something's got to give , now.. Let the bodies hit the floor!" A young pilot was pictured in the air after dropping a bomb—sticking his tongue out in KISS-fashion and flashing a surfer hand wave. "Let the bodies hit the floor!" HONOR flashed as the lyrics and images continued to assault us. "Let the bodies hit the floor!!!" NOW... Push me again, This is the end." All destruction was forgotten as the film closed on American troops hugging small Afghani children.

It was so offensive that even reflecting on it now makes my stomach turn.

`Emily Gorenz

============

I, Kim Abe,l worked as a nurse at Walter Reed Army Medical Center this past summer, caring for wounded soldiers.

War is damaging in unimagined ways. I am glad to report soldiers are getting the best of care there but no amount of money can return sight, legs, arms, or brain functioning.

On the psychiatric unit where I worked, soldiers were young and physically healthy, but having a difficult time dealing with what they had seen or had to do in Iraq. The death of children, fellow soldiers and friends seemed to be a common trigger to psychological difficulties. One young soldier who had those experiences, initially came to us in tears, saying he would never kill again. He continued to have nightmares, physical pain, and rage. What a difference for him when his family came, he smiled and laughed and had less physical pain. Families can be some of the best and most effective treatment available.

What Can We Do?

*Donate to Iraqi Freedom Family Support Fund c/o Walter Reed Society WRAMC 6900 Georgia Ave Wash. D.C. 20307 The government pays for only one trip for soldiers' families to come and stay. This fund helps to cover special needs of soldiers and families.

*Pressure representatives to allocate funds for the cost of care and treatment of veterans injured in war when they leave Walter Reed. These Americans have paid a terrible price and we should never let them go without what they need. The VA system is overwhelmed and underfunded.

*Support groups that work for conflict resolution without war…(Christian Peacemaker Team, Voices in the Wilderness…) and support and be family to the soldiers in your community

*Contact me if you would like me to speak to a group in your area.
Kim Abel, kim_abel@ivcc.edu
Mendota, IL (815) 539-7534

PS. Love the Troops , Hate the War -- a placard at the weekly Walter Reed vigil.

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