FIVE YEARS TOO MANY
On Saturday, March 15, to mark the fifth anniversary of the Iraq war, the NFPOC community gathered in Southold to hold the panels of the dead soldiers and to protest the ongoing war.
The event was reported in the Suffolk Times by Julie Lane.
50 march for peace
Honor the fallen memorial comes to Silversmith's Corner
By Julie Lane
Rainy skies gave way to sunshine Saturday afternoon, beckoning some 50 demonstrators to Silversmith's Corner in Southold to support North Fork People of Conscience in honoring troops who have given their lives in Iraq. On the fifth anniversary of that conflict, they stood shoulder to shoulder, bearing the images and brief biographies of the dead -- many with faces as young as those of local high school students.
When a couple of youths walked by and were invited to join the demonstration, they said they didn't have the time.
"You're going to be spending a lot of time in Iraq soon," a female demonstrator told them. An occasional passing car sounded its horn in support of those who stood in the chilly air. But most motorists went about their business, seemingly oblivious to the messages the demonstrators hoped to send.
"Somebody's got to hold these pictures up to honor their lives," Jean Lawless of Shelter Island said about the images of fallen soldiers.
"Southold will go with McCain," one man predicted.
Others had mixed opinions as to whether the November election will bring change to the country's war effort.
"Even Obama admits you can't get out overnight," said retired Southold school teacher David Hewitt. "It'll be at least another four years and another 4,000 lives. We're exporting democracy. We're losing it and they're not getting it," he said about the Iraqis.
Mr. Hewitt's wife, Mary, described herself as more optimistic, but said she's still not sure Americans will elect a woman or an African-American.
"I can't live my life believing that we can't make a change," said Jim Schwartz of Southampton. He's a World War II and Korean War veteran and a member of the anti-war East End Veterans.
"Ignorance is not bliss," Mr. Schwartz said. He remembers helping to liberate the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp early in his military career and believes it's only those willing to "take the road less traveled" who can make a difference in the world.
"We always have to have hope," Christine Baker of Mattituck said.
"We could have a third Bush term with McCain," said Bob Hovey of Southold.
"This is no democracy," opined Bill Douglas of Peconic. While ice cream just purchased at IGA was melting in his car, he felt compelled to spend some time at the rally."We talk about democracy; we better clean up our own democracy," he said.
"This was an important use of my time," Lucy Cutler of Mattituck said about joining the demonstration. She believes either Democratic candidate -- Sen. Obama or Sen. Hillary Clinton -- would end the war."It's a drain of life, a drain of energy," she said.
"So my grandchildren won't be going over to Iraq," said Barbara Kujawski of Mattituck, explaining her reason for demonstrating against the war. "War solves nothing," said Ms. Kujawski, who was born on Pearl Harbor Day.
Two German students visiting NFPOC leader Pat Hovey and her husband, Bob, got off a plane the night before to be told their first full day here would be spent at the demonstration. Alison Wade and Felix Lauber, who are college students in Munich, said they hope a change of administrations in Washington will bring an end to the Iraqi war.
"But I hoped [that] when the last election was," said Mr. Lauber, a touch of sadness in his voice.