‘I don’t want more war’
Vail CO, Colorado
EDWARDS ” They may not know what countries border Iraq or why our country is at war, but the children who were holding crosses Monday night at a busy intersection in Edwards are keenly aware of the cold hard facts of war.
“The war has killing, and I think a lot of people care the soldiers are getting killed,” 7-year-old Franklin Reilly said. “There are a lot of them dying and nothing is worth fighting that much about.”
About a dozen Demonstrators young and old gathered at the intersection of U.S. Highway 6 and Edwards Spur Road in Edwards to demonstrate against the war in Iraq. Each held up white crosses which represented 10 soldiers who have been killed in Iraq.
The protest marked the fourth anniversary of the war, and was the second protest for some of the children who were there.
“I was with my Mom when I was really little before, and it is kinda fun being here now,” Franklin said. “It’s not cool, it’s sad .. .a little fun … but sad.”
The same group, Eagle County for Peace and Justice, held a protest in Eagle at the beginning of the war, said Beth Reilly, Franklin’s mom.
One girl, 11-year-old Haley Wallace, said she was there to spread the word that the world needs peace.
“I made this sign that says peace on earth because I don’t want more war, and I am holding it up so the war stops,” Haley said. “A lot of people are dying from here and over there, and I know people want the war to stop.”
Attending the protest was Haley’s idea and will also give her credits for her school’s community service program, she said.
The reality of war and the deaths that come with it were not lost on the children at the protest, and some even have their own ideas on who and what is behind the fighting.
“I think it’s wrong for the president to keep war going,” 7-year-old Madison Martinez said. “More of the soldiers won’t live and there won’t be enough left for the right war if we have one.”
“The army should be allowed to come home from Iraq,” Madison added, pronouncing Iraq as “I rock.”
Bringing troops home from Iraq, which is “somewhere near Egypt,” would make Franklin happy.
“I think they are fighting over oil and I don’t think that’s good,” Franklin said as he stomped his foot on the ground. “I wish they would all come home because it must be pretty scary.”
The group carried a sign that read “Beep for peace.” Several of those driving by the intersection honked their horns and waved. Some drivers stopped their cars to retrieve a cross from one of the demonstrators.
Asking the government to bring the troops home was the main message of Monday’s protest. Crosses 4 Peace ” the name of the Napa, Calif. organization which coined the idea of using white crosses in peace demonstrations ” is not anti-military, just anti-war, Beth Reilly said.
“I am trying to raise my sons to be peace and justice kids,” she said. “They’re responsible for speaking up when the government’s policies aren’t as they should be. This war is only killing our soldiers, and we need to get them out of there.”
Franklin still had white paint in his hair from helping prepare the crosses on Sunday.
The group painted 400 crosses in Edwards Plaza for the protest and to give out to other citizens who would like to display them in their yards. The crosses are meant symbolize not only the amount of U.S. troops killed since the war began, but also the innocent Iraqis who have died as well, protest organizer Susie Davis said.
Monday’s protest was the first of more to come, especially if a time table is not set to withdraw the military from Iraq, Beth Reilly said.
Staff writer Alison Miller can be reached at 748-2928 or firstname.lastname@example.org.