KENNEBUNK Judy Rose disagrees with her son, Scott, but she was in the audience Monday afternoon as he called on the U.S. government to find a peaceful way to respond to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
More than 40 people, mostly teen-agers, attended a peace rally at Town Hall that was hosted by local high school students.
"I think our country is being very responsible in its retaliation," said Judy Rose, 46. "But I'm here to support my son's First Amendment right to free speech. I can't wait to hear what he has to say."
Scott Rose said he believes that U.S. military efforts in Afghanistan, which started Sunday with air strikes on Taliban and terrorist outposts, will only set the stage for more violence.
"Hate breeds hate," Rose, 17, said in a prepared statement. "There will always be anti-American sentiments around the world. There is no need for us to give militant movements a rallying cry."
The peace rally was organized by David Morgan, a 17-year-old senior at Kennebunk High School. Morgan began planning the rally a few days after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
"I was saddened by the recent events in New York City and the almost immediate military response we got from our government," Morgan said. "There definitely is a way we can deal with this without killing innocent people. More pain and suffering on a larger scale would be detrimental to society as a whole."
Morgan says he believes the terrorist attacks on America were crimes, not acts of war. Therefore, he says, the culprits should be brought to justice in a world court of law.
Hannah Maris, a Kennebunk mother of two, agrees with Morgan. Maris attended Monday's rally to show support for Kennebunk's younger peace activists. She is among a group of local people who are planning a peace demonstration at noon Sunday, Oct. 21, at Town Hall.
"Killing people won't prove anything," said Maris, 42. "It's just more of the same."
The rally started at the gazebo at Rotary Park, where Morgan set up a sound system to play Jimi Hendrix's "Star Spangled Banner" as people gathered. Then the group marched in a solemn procession to Town Hall, carrying a few peace signs reminiscent of the 1960s.
Morgan, Rose and Jordan Danis, also a Kennebunk High senior, each delivered anti-war statements and read survivors' accounts of the terrorist attacks.
The rally included a moment of silence for the victims of the attacks. Morgan, who plans to study film-making in college, showed a video he made of Kennebunk High student and teacher responses to the attacks.
"I'd say 70 percent of the students and most of the teachers I talked to support something other than a military strike," Morgan said.
Morgan's mother, Jean, also attended the rally. Like Rose's mom, Jean Morgan supports the U.S. response to the terrorist attacks. But she admires the planning and commitment her son showed in organizing the peace rally.
"We raised him to be nonviolent and be a peaceful person," said Jean Morgan, 45. "The military response goes against what he believes in."
Judy Rose figures the anti-war attitude of the young people at the rally is a product of the times. Rose came of age at the end of the Vietnam War, but she learned about previous wars through her parents and grandparents. For her son, all of that is history.
"They grew up in such a cocoon of peace, they don't know," Rose said. "I guess we've lived through more world turmoil than they have."
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