Camera operator, Mark Schulze, goes to videotape the marchers who numbered just over a thousand. Cindy Sheehan would later comment that there were more marchers in San Diego than in San Francisco. This alarmed my friend, Bridget, who said that it seemed evident that many people who normally come to marches had decided to sit back complacently and say that "Obama's on it" when indeed we are still in Iraq, we have sent more troops into Afghanistan, and now Pakistan seems to be on the horizon.
Rita and Erin are representing for the Mooney clan. Rita is a veteran like my mom and dad.
Danielle Lo Presti performs at the peace rally. What I love about attending peace marches is that there is usually some form of entertainment. We've seen many different bands, comedy troupes, puppet shows and other artful expressions at the peace marches we have attended for - wow, has it been 20 years already? Danielle is a very passionate and outspoken activist for peace, freedom and dignity. She makes it clear how outmoded the very idea of war is.
If you have not heard her work, check it out: Danielle LoPresti & the Masses.
Bree Walker, a former San Diego newswoman who went north to LA to make her fortune, came back to town this weekend so that she could comment on her feelings about peace, and how we all need to work together toward that end. She then introduced the notorious peace activist, Cindy Sheehan. You may remember that Cindy became a burr under the saddle of ex-President Bush Jr. when she purchased a ranch in Crawford, Texas, where hundreds of supporters gathered to pay tribute to Casey Sheehan, Cindy's son who had been among the first to perish in the Iraq War. Since then Cindy became an outspoken Mother Against the War. And she wanted the answer to her question, just what was the "noble cause" that had robbed her of her son, and the sons of other parents, as well. Thousands of other parents. Tens of thousands, if you count the Iraqis.
Just as we had been leaving to attend the march, Fernando, the father of Emilio, came out and gave us these two orange feathers, asking us to wear them at the peace march. Because that is where Emilio would have been, if he had still been alive. Emilio was, of the triplets, the one who leaned most left, towards hugging trees and living green. So we proudly pinned them on our hats and Emilio was with us when we met Cindy Sheehan, someone I have been wanting to meet for a long time. On my MySpace page, I listed her as one of the people I would love to meet in my life. (Next, Oprah!) I told Cindy that the feathers were significant because of Emilio, a nineteen-year-old who had died in his sleep a few days ago, one of three triplets. Cindy immediately offered condolences, as she endures the pain of the loss of Casey every single day of her life.
Cindy reminded us all why we had come to the march, and that is so that we can put an end to not only the war, but the causes of war. "We've got robber barons robbing us of our land, our wealth, and our children," she said. "It's time we all rise up and do something about it. Stop letting them take our land, our wealth and our children. It's time for a revolution." She has a new book coming out called "Myth America: The Case For Revolution."
We gave Cindy a copy of our documentary, "The Invisible Ones: Homeless Combat Veterans." She graciously posed for a photo with us.
The Arlington West display of crosses was spread out on the lawn in front of the Veterans Memorial Building. In this shot I liked the juxtaposition of the American flag, the crosses, the police car and a mother rushing her child past this moment.
While heading home in the car, we spotted this happy couple riding by on their motorcycle. My fingers were still itching from all the photo-taking at the peace march, so I just snapped this one. I like the unadulterated joy and the man's peace sign.