On Saturday, March 21, 2009, clergy and members of Unitarian Universalist congregations in the Boston area will join with a coalition of military families, Iraq veterans, and peace organizations, to witness the sixth anniversary of the war in Iraq. This commemorative event, titled Witness on the Sixth Anniversary of the Iraq War: Fulfill the Promise—End the Occupation, will take place on Boston Common, by the Brewer Fountain, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Participants will read the names of the US war dead and recognize the victims of the war in Iraq.
The coalition calls on President Obama to fulfill his promise to end the occupation, to provide healthcare and jobs for returning troops, and to engage in reconciliation and respectful reconstruction of Iraq.
“President Obama has inherited the task of ending responsibly the immoral war he opposed. We gather to honor and grieve the dead, to call for a complete end of the occupation, and to advocate for our returning troops who need health care and jobs,” said Susan Leslie, Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Director of Congregational Advocacy and Witness. “Unitarian Universalists engaged in advocacy and protest to prevent the war in 2002 and to stop the war for these past six years. We will remain faithful in that witness until we see all our troops come home.”
There will be brief statements from the Unitarian Universalist Association, Military Families Speak Out, and United for Justice with Peace. Dozens of people from area congregations and organizations have signed up to take turns reading the names of all the U.S. war dead. Every six minutes a gong will sound. Every hour there will be a statement about the Iraq war victims and a minute of silence to recognize and mourn them.
“It’s important to mark this anniversary,” explained Shelagh Foreman of United for Justice with Peace. “The U.S. invasion of Iraq has been a deadly and costly disaster. Over 4,300 U.S. troops have been killed and over one million Iraqis dead.”
“We are dedicated to doing everything in our power to bring this misbegotten war to an end now. We know that many in America are struggling with the impacts of a failing economy,” explains Bonnie Gorman of Military Families Speak Out. “We want to remind the people of this country that military families and our loved ones are also struggling daily with the impacts of this on-going war.”
Witness on the Sixth Anniversary of the Iraq War: Fulfill the Promise—End the Occupation is co-sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Association, the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, Military Families Speak Out, Mass Peace Action, United for Justice with Peace, American Friends Service Committee and others.
For more information please visit the UUA’s “2009 Anniversary of Invasion.”
Rev. Wendy von Zirpolo
Minister, Unitarian Universalist Church of Marblehead, MA
revwendyvon @ yahoo.com
(603) 479-6096 (cell)
Director of Congregational Advocacy and Witness, UUA
congadvocacy @ uua.org
The Unitarian Universalist Association is a faith community of more than 1,000 self-governing congregations that bring to the world a vision of religious freedom, tolerance and social justice. For more information about the UUA, please visit our online media kit.