The Star-Herald

Join protest on Aroostook River Bridge and stand for peace

To the editor:

On March 19. 2003, the United States went to war against Iraq.

Each Sunday for the past 16 years, we and others have stood on the Aroostook River Bridge in Presque Isle with our anti-war protest signs, with hope that our message will be both received and understood.

Ask yourselves: Why are these people there in all weathers and conditions for the past 16 years? Obviously we would be more comfortable in a warm or cooler environment [in most cases a warmer one.]

We are there to protest the 16 years of war along with the inevitable results of war: death, injury, destruction of both individuals and families, sickness, disease. We are there to try to ward off the callousness and numbness that such waste of blood and treasure brings. We are there to bear witness and say don’t look away, and pretend this isn’t happening.

Children 16 years and younger  have lived their entire lifetimes during continuous war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since 2003 we can add Syria, Yemen and others, and we have heard sabre rattling over Venezuela. Do we want to allow our next generation to live under wars that, after even more years, will not have accomplished what we were told they would?

There are many different sources of information on what the past 16 years have cost our society.  One of the more reliable ones calculated the cost to be 3.5 trillion dollars ($3,500,000,000,000), as well as many thousands of deaths. If we take this cost and divide it by our population we come up with a cost of $10,500 for each and every American. Thus we have not just moral but financial debt to pass on to our children and grandchildren.

All of our children in grade school, high school and the great majority of college graduates have gone through their learning years during wartime. Many of these children may soon be asked to join in the present ineffective and unending solutions we apply to wars. This must change.

Our economy might be improving, but war continues, debt piles up, and people continue to die.

We realize that over the past 16 years many of you have shown increased support for peace by your waves and thumbs up signs. But more than that is needed to protect the future, for ourselves, but also for our children, grandchildren and for our country.

Join us for a day or many days. We are on the Aroostook River Bridge in Presque Isle every Sunday from noon to 1 p.m., as we have been for the last 16 years. Let our leaders know that you want to see peace in our time, before it’s too late.

John and Johnnie Cancelarich
Presque Isle

Steve DeMaio
Easton

Jim Fitzgerald
Ashland

Daryl Adams
Mars Hill

Mike Lyng
Lee, Massachusetts

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