Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Peace and War in Hillsdale

As I've reported here before, each Friday evening I am one of the six or so peace activists who cluster on the four corners of Sunset Boulevard and Capitol Highway.

We’ve been waving our signs at commuters since last January. We get more than a few honks and the rare extended middle finger.

Of course it is much darker and wetter now at our vigil. At some level it is miserable, but all I have to do is think of the misery of our soldiers and the Iraqis to make my own small discomfort disappear.

Last week one of our number was confronted by an angry Iraqi vet. He wasn’t exactly angry with us. In fact he said he appreciated what we were doing.

Then came his “but.”

“But you just don’t understand. You can’t understand,” He seemed angry at the world for not understanding, for not helping him with the war that still raged in his head.

I tell you this because it happened in Hillsdale on a rainy Friday night.

During the exchange, in which we listened and tried to console the vet, perhaps 200 commuters drove by, unaware that a part of the Iraq War had come to the very intersection they passed through on their way home for a weekend of football or parties or shopping or parenting.

I’ve often wondered why more people haven’t joined us at the vigils. Some no doubt say, “What’s the point? It won’t do any good.”

That’s an easy dismissal. For me, standing with others, urging an end to the war, listening to an angry vet, connects me to my own responsibility for what this nation’s government does, and doesn’t do.

We gather at 5:30 p.m. every Friday evening. Please consider joining us.

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Blogger Orpierce said...

We love the fact you are out there..way to go and keep up the good work.

6:35 PM  

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