Today we participated in the Peace March down Hennepin Avenue to mark the 5th anniversary of the war in Iraq. We also participated in the 4th anniversary, 2nd anniversary and many, many protests before the thing got started back in 2003. (We missed the 3rd anniversary since Jackson was just two months old then.) We hope that we won't have to participate in a 6th anniversary...but we will be there, reminding our neighbors to "not lose sight" as long as this war continues*.
Jackson was a trooper last year and participated even more wholeheartedly this year by walking himself. ("Marching.") He was in awe of the crowds, the drums, the chants and of course...the doggies. We brought the stroller along, just in case, but our kid is SO not a stroller kid anymore so he never sat in it.
Dan placed a sign on the stroller instead which read "NOT ONE MORE DEATH." This ended up being quite a sobering message. Many photographers wanted to capture the image of an empty stroller pleading for the killing to stop.
There was a large contingency from our church present at the march - it was awesome to look around and see so many familiar and friendly faces.
There was also a huge presence from Military Families Speak Out this year and I have to say, that was probably the most moving part of the march for me. A small girl held a handmade sign reading "bring my uncle home" with his photo and peace signs all over it. I hope we do get him - and all of the other strong men and women who are serving in Iraq instead of at home with their families - home soon.
The bus ride home got a bit sleepy for Jackson, since the march was directly during nap time. He conked out in a major way and eventually did allow us to put him in the stroller for the walk home from the bus stop. He had just walked a little over a mile on his own during the march and a good half-mile with his Dad earlier in the day in the neighborhood. Very sleepy boy, indeed.
*Dammit. I said the same thing last year...that I hoped that we wouldn't have to march on the 5th anniversary. That I hoped that we could all stay home...everyone...everywhere...safe and sound. Dammit. Vote, people. McCain would keep us in for another 100 years. We won't be around to march that long and I don't want to pass this burden on to my children. We need to end it...now.