Still Crazy After all these Years

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Today marked a rather grim anniversary: 5 years of the Iraq war. I attended a candle-lit vigil hosted by MoveOn in Madison Square Park. At first, only a humble number gathered to show their support for the anti-war cause. But then the group grew to a sizeable crowd, despite the stormy weather.

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I spoke to one representative from MoveOn, who passionately told me her reasons for being against the war. She pointed out that America had now been engaged in the Iraq war for longer than World War II, certainly a disturbing thought. Another MoveOn representative carried a rather emotional sign, stating “I want my brother out of Iraq.” She gave a heartfelt speech which described the horrific conditions that soldiers are forced to endure in Iraq, including inadequate equipment, poor medical supplies, and low quality food and water. She said that she’d even had to buy her brother a gas mask. She called out to the crowd that if you support our troops, you are against the war – a statement met with cheers and applause.

The protest continued with volunteers from the crowd reading stories submitted to MoveOn about personal experiences with the Iraq war from soldiers and their loved ones. The message through these tales was clear – bring troops home to their loved ones and give them the care that they need. Many of these emotional excerpts stressed how money spent on the Iraq war should be spent on domestic education, health care, and care for veterans. The protest ended with people singing “Stop the war” to the tune of Taps.

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