Today, both the Indiana Daily Student and The
Herald Times published good articles covering last evening's Candlelight Vigil
in Bloomington, Indiana, in memory of the 2,000 U.S. soldiers killed in
Marked by Silence
Vigil commemorates 2,000 American soldier deaths in
By Ben Woodson | Indiana Daily Student
Thursday, October 27,
Leigh Kupersmith stood calmly by herself Wednesday
night as a crowd of apporoximately 100 people lined the sidewalks of the Monroe
County Courthouse for a candlelight vigil commemorating the death toll of
American soldiers in Iraq reaching 2,000.
"It is just a very sad day," she said.
The candles lit the faces of the protesters as they
stood and chatted quietly amongst themselves. It was a half an hour before
activists started passing out signs.
A political action committee against the Iraq War,
www.moveon.org, sponsored the vigil. The
Bloomington vigil was just one of the many Moveon.org-sponsored vigils across
"It is a time to reflect on the human costs for
(the soldiers') families and communities," said Cindy Hoffman, the local
organizer for the event.
The goal of the vigil was to convince the
administration to set a timeline and have a plan to bring the soldiers home,
The death toll reaching 2,000 is no more important
than it reaching 1,999 or 2,001, Hoffman said, but it is a moment to call
attention to the people who are dying in Iraq.
This vigil was a turning point for Bloomington
resident Leigh Kupersmith. She used to come to the weekly protests held by the
Bloomington Peace Coalition, but she has not been for awhile. She said she will
probably start coming to the weekly war protests again because of the
"There is a good feeling around these people," she
The vigil, Kupersmith said, is not only for the
soldiers who have died, but also for the thousands of Iraqi citizens who have
As the death toll neared 2,000 Tuesday, President
Bush tried to begin reviving public support for the war in Iraq.
"I know this is a trying time for our military
spouses," Bush said at a Joint Armed Forces Officer Wives' luncheon at Bolling
Air Force Base in Washington. "We've lost some of our nation's finest men and
women in the war on terror.
"And the best way to honor the sacrifice of our
fallen troops is to complete the mission and lay the foundation of peace by
Public support for Bush's handling of Iraq is at
its lowest point, 37 percent, roughly where it has been since early August,
according to The Associated Press-Ipsos polling.
Coincidentally, the vigil was held on the same
night the BPAC holds its weekly anti-war protest. Most of the regular protestors
stayed for the candlelight vigil, but they were joined by more than a hundred
"Somehow these sort of morbid milestones impact
people, and they want to come out and do something," said Timothy Baer,
organizer of BPAC.
He said he wished more people would come out to the
weekly protest, and if more people would get involved in the national anti-war
protest, then the war could end.
"The only thing that can make Congress wake up is
people," said Bill Breeden, minister at the Bloomington Unitarian Universalist
Many of the people at the vigil had family members
in the military, and at least one had been in Iraq.
"You can be against the war and still support the
troops," said Kate Schroeder, a Ph.D. student in history.
Sophomore Anthony Onesti was in Iraq in 2003. He
didn't know much about the war when he went there, but he was against it. When
he was there, nothing changed his mind, he said.
While he doesn't know exactly why he is against the
war, Onesti said he felt like he needed to come to the vigil.
Those in attendance came together for many
different reasons, and most agreed it was important to recognize the soldiers
who died in Iraq and those who are overseas now.
-- The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Protesters mark 2,000th U.S. Iraq death
By James Boyd
331-4370 | jboyd@...
October 27, 2005
About 150 people gathered Wednesday night on the Monroe County Courthouse
square for a solemn ceremony marking the milestone of 2,000 troops killed in
The somber tone was reflected by near-silence, and the flicker of flames in
a light wind.
I will support our troops wherever they are, World War II veteran Stan
White said. I admire their patriotism. But we havent done enough to employ law
and order in Iraq.
White said he appreciated the support he got as a member of the Air
Ive always been grateful that the people supported us, he said of his
service time. Its unbelievable they didnt support those guys in
Cindy Hoffman, who helped organize the rally through MoveOn.org and
Democracy for America, quoted Thomas Jefferson as a reason for her
Dissent is the highest form of patriotism, she said. I think its the
responsibility of a citizen of a democracy to speak out when you believe your
governments policies are wrong.
White said he was embarrassed that the U.S. has shown a disregard for the
Were horribly violating it, he said, and weve never done that before.
White said he felt there was only one way the U.S. would have a clear exit
strategy for leaving Iraq.
Our exit strategy is going to be people like us standing out here
screaming our heads off, he said.
Its going to take a whole lot of protests for us to get out of
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