Friday, November 25, 2005
Crawford Peace House dedicates memorial to "Sheehan's Stand", troops killed in Iraq
Dozens of supporters and members of national and regional media were on hand today for the dedication of the new Crawford Peace House garden and memorial to Cindy's stand, and the troops killed in Iraq.
The memorial reads simply "Sheehan's Stand" on one side, and asks "Why!" on the other. The backside includes a few of the first names of troops killed: "Casey", "Jessica", "Aron", "Kelly", "Alex" . . .
The memorial was hand chiseled by Ron Teska from a nearly one-ton granite foundation stone of an old Pennsylvania church. Ron, who was hand for the dedication, was a fixture of the August Crawford vigil picking away at the massive stone with ice picks, screwdrivers, and hammers in the back of his pickup.
The dedication featured Gold Star Families for Peace members Sergio Torres, father of Sgt. Daniel Torres killed in Iraq; DeDe Miller and Cindy Sheehan, aunt and mother of Army Spc. Casey Sheehan; Cindy Sheehan; and Bill Mitchell, father of Army Sgt. Michael Mitchell.
Meanwhile, less than a block away at the intersection that marks the center of Crawford, a small vigil was held "to counter Sheehan's effect". A Vietnam veteran strummed a guitar and told passers-bys that we to "stay in Vietnam until the job is done". He later corrected himself that he meant, "stay in Iraq," but later repeated his declaration about Vietnam. Joining him was Gary Qualls, father of Marine LCpl Louis Qualls who was killed in Fallujah, Iraq last year.
The new memorial stone stands only 30 feet from the official "Western White House" marker that tells the official story of G.W. Bush - the story includes how Bush purchased his vacation ranch in the run up to the 2000 presidential election.
Tomorrow afternoon a rally at Camp Casey will again call for an immediate end to the occupation of Iraq, followed by a march to the Bush ranch Secret Service check point.
More photos of the memorial dedication
Photos by Jeff Paterson. Copywrite 2005