Beginning in September 2004 members of the Lewes Delaware community have stood in silent vigil witnessing the human cost of war. Every Sunday from one to one forty-five a group varying between 15 and 50 people stand silently with signs that simply state the number of American military dead and wounded and the number of Iraqi civilians killed. Some carry signs saying, “Standing for Peace,” and “Not one more life.” Some carry pictures of a serviceperson killed in the war. We began when the number of American dead was 1,000 and the number of casualties (dead and wounded) was about 8,000.
In this small community the witness has been very important. On three occasions – the second anniversary of the beginning of the war, the 2,000th death, and the vigil in solidarity with Cindy Shehan, we had vigils of between 100 and 150 people. We witnessed for peace in the local Christmas Parade (a wonderfully local thing) with a float with 2,160 stars each with the name of an American serviceperson, followed by children carrying stars for over 400 Iraqi children killed in the strife.
Today the number of the dead was 2,400, and the number of wounded 17,469. That means the number of casualties stands at 19,869 persons. God forbid, but at the current rate the total by the time General Convention meets will be about 2,500 dead and over 20,000 total casualties.
Whatever else we do at General Convention, we must record a protest of this war, begun under the new preemptive strike doctrine itself a product of post 9/11 national trauma, for reasons which have been shown to be unwarranted, and carrying promissory notes of quick win and successful objectives reached that have not come to pass. Not to do so will mean that we were so overwhelmed by our own issues that we could not speak.
I strongly believe that a resolution regarding an opposition to the basic policy of preemptive strike must be registered by this Convention so that our Washington Office can speak with a clear mandate from General Convention.
Any information on existing or planned resolutions to this effect would be much appreciated.