To the editor:
Saturday, Sept. 16, will be the fourth anniversary of the weekly vigils at the Douglas County Courthouse sponsored by the Lawrence Coalition for Peace and Justice. For four years, handfuls to hundreds of people have stood there at noon to protest a war they variously perceive as unwise, immoral, illegal or at least ill planned. I am one of those protesters, and this is a good time to consider why we do it. I can speak only for myself. My prime motivation certainly is my young grandchildren; I do not want them sent to the next war!
I am not a complete pacifist. I would agree with Pete Seeger who once said that if the enemy came across our borders, he would be the first to join the defense. However, wars of aggression, wars for power, wars for wealth, wars of revenge - these have been our usual practice.
Our hope is to encourage others to take action or to change their minds. There are many in this community who oppose the war, others who are ambivalent. I hope they will be encouraged to look into the facts of how this war came about, to express their position at election time, to take other actions for peace, and above all to remember all this the next time a president begins beating the drums of war.
Ultimately we don't know what effect our efforts have. I at least feel better doing something rather than nothing. Doing this with people who care deeply about their country is a real privilege.