WASHINGTON - Holding American flags and pictures of fallen loved ones, military families and veterans urged President Bush on Wednesday to end the war in Iraq.
"We don't belong there. We're never going to win this war," said Sue Niederer. Her 24-year-old son, Seth, was killed two months ago while defusing a bomb south of Baghdad.
Mildred McHugh, who has a son stationed in Iraq, helps carry a sign showing some of the 600 plus soldiers who have died in Iraq.
(AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson)
"It's time for us to get out," she said.
After a news conference, the families and veterans joined about 40 supporters in a march to the White House a few blocks away where they laid pink, white and yellow carnations in memory of the more than 670 American troops killed since the war began last year.
They also placed rose petals for the thousands of Iraqis who have died.
The march was organized by the group, Military Families Speak Out, and United for Peace and Justice, an anti-war coalition.
Michael Hoffman, a Marine who spent two months in Iraq fighting a war he opposed, said the country has deteriorated into chaos. "We are not making a better world for the Iraqis," he said.
Anas Shallal, an Iraqi-American, rejected suggestions that Iraq would spiral into further violence if U.S troops withdrew.
"It's really rather offensive to the Iraqi people to think they cannot govern themselves," said Shallal. "There's a lot of civil structures in Iraq right now, a lot of unions, a lot of organizations where people on the ground are taking leadership roles. I think we need to act as facilitators and take a back seat to this process so that the Iraqi people govern themselves."
© 2004 Associated Press