Veterans’ Memorial Bridge which connects the west side of Cleveland with the east, over the river Cuyahoga, near Saint Malachi’s, and Detroit Road with Superior Avenue was the site to-day at 5.00 p.m of a peace action. It commemorated the death of 4,000 american serviceman in Iraq.
Strands of small, white, christmas tree lights were battery lit. The names and ages of the military dead were writ on paper sheets, twined and taped, to the bridge itself.
One local television reporter, Debora Lee, and her cameraman covered it. This was more than usual for a peace event in Cleveland. For most people, the maxim of Gandhi applies:
“Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.”It was a very blustery hour and the end of the hour was wet. The application of the mini placards was done sloppily in the gusts, but it was completed. All the known Americans in uniform were noted, but the hundreds of thousands of non-Americans were not.
Some of the participants held up signs to the homebound traffic coming from downtown. A very high proportion, beeped in assent and/or held up the two finger peace gesture. It was remarked that, only one driver, displayed the half a peace sign salute. Police cars, black and white and unmarked, made frequent passes and u-turns before West 25th and downtown; the pacifists, apparently, needed monitoring.
A pair of people shared two bongos, one proud peace pooch was stationed, a few peace signs and a veterans for peace banner were visible. A few joggers passed through, regarding the demonstrators as no more than more avant garde artwork on the bridge. A former candidate for congress was there, she had lost her son, as did some others, there, lost loved ones, also. The names, that one could read while walking, showed the many nations the fallen had originated from. The United States has had children of many lands come here, so that they can die elsewhere.
post scriptum: Who but family would remember these dead, however decent and virtuous they may or not have been? Three of the 4,000 — Casey Carriker, 20; Kevin Smith, 20, Josiah Hollopeter, 27. May God give them, and the many thousands, rest.