Merrimack Valley People for Peace
Serving the communities of the Merrimack Valley

- MVPP “No More Victims” Candlelight Vigil, March 14, 2004-

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Opening comments by Don Abbott:

Exactly a year ago, on this same Sunday evening, nearly 250 local citizens stood right here in this square at this hour as part of a Global Vigil in which millions of people, under their respective setting suns, expressed the solemn, hopeful view that another mistaken and disastrous war could be averted. Now,

**363 days later,

**nearly 550 deaths of American service men and women later,

**thousands of wounded American troops later,

**untold tens of thousands of deaths of Iraqis later, especially innocent, non-combatant civilians, including unconscionable numbers of children,

**more than $106 billion dollars later, stolen from those who need housing, health care, jobs, education, food…that’s more than $3.2 billion that might have come to Massachusetts, with more than $33 million to the city of Lowell alone…

**And no weapons of mass destruction found,

**And just more and more lies and deception in Washington uncovered,

**And more civil strife and violence and more physical suffering and more economic deprivation in Iraq today than prior to the U.S.-led invasion,

**And more distrust and animosity toward the United States from the international community because of the adminstration’s continuing exercise of America’s presumed right to dominate the world through military means…

Many of us are still here because our country invaded Iraq under pretext and in defiance of international law. And we remain here because the U.S. hardens this injustice through our military/corporate occupation of Iraq. War, as is its custom, has once again failed to bring forth peace and justice. Rather than making us any safer, this war and its ensuing occupation have made our domestic and global security more precarious, not less. As we gather tonight, a tragic irony unfolds: the policy of the current administration to wage an endless war on terror places us at risk of becoming the embodiment of the very evil we deplore.

However, I’ll bet my life on us and, with you, I’ll bank on the millions of like-minded souls in countries and cultures around the world. Some call us “the yes-sayers.” The New York Times named us “the second greatest superpower.” Our candles and our hearts continue to light this darkness with hope, faith, and prayerful remembrance--hope for the end of wars and occupation everywhere, faith in nonviolent solutions to conflict at home and abroad and, especially, remembrance of every child, woman, and man who has suffered death, injury, or loss on all sides of the Iraq War. With the swelling numbers of courageous military families who protest this war, we cry out, “Mourn the dead. Heal the wounded. End the War.” No more victims!


Merrimack Valley People for Peace meets monthly, on the fourth Tuesday,
at 7:30 pm,
at North Parish Church, North Andover.

Contact Merrimack Valley People for Peace       (978) 685-1389
            P.O. Box 573
            North Andover, MA 01845

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