|VENICE, California - CODEPINK joins peace groups throughout the US in holding peace vigils, marches and other events to honor all who have died in the war and call for US troops to be brought home now.
WHEN: The day after the US announces the 2000th US soldier death in Iraq
WHERE: CODEPINK peace events are planned for Phoenix, AZ; Alameda, CA and Half Moon Bay, CA; Greeley, CO; Gainesville and Orlando, FL; Savannah, GA; Northfield, MN; Kansas City, MO; Las Vegas, NV; Staten Island, NY; Ashville and Charlotte, NC; Oregon City, OR; Denton, TX; Seattle, WA.
WHAT: The sad day is coming when the 2000th US soldier will have died in Iraq. To honor those who’ve died and call for the US troops to be brought home from Iraq now, CODEPINK: Women for Peace and other peace groups throughout the United States will hold vigils, marches and other anti-war events the day after the US announces the 2000th US soldier death in Iraq.
"Perhaps the worst aspect of hitting the grim milestone of 2000 US soldiers dead is that as long as this occupation continues, so will the deaths of both Americans and Iraqis. Ending the occupation is the only way to stop the bloodshed and allow Iraqis to rebuild their shattered country," said Medea Benjamin, a co-founder of CODEPINK and also of the human rights group Global Exchange.
In addition to the 2000 US troops who’ve been killed in Iraq, 15,000 troops have been wounded and many continue to suffer event when they come home. Troops returning to the US are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, and are even turning up in homeless shelters in cities through the country. The risk for Iraqis is even more severe: Tens of thousands of Iraqis have been killed in the war, and hundreds of thousands of lives have been devastated, even according to the most conservative estimates.
In addition to the CODEPINK events, United for Peace and Justice, American Friends Service Committee and many other peace groups plan to hold events the day after the 2000th US soldier death is announced. So far 232 events are planned in 41 states, and that number is expected to grow dramatically over the next few days. For a list of the CODEPINK events, see http://www.codepinkalert.org/article.php?id=546. For a list of all events planned to mark the 2000th US soldier death in Iraq, see http://www.afsc.org/2000/all_locations.php.
Many military family members and Iraq war veterans will participate in the events described above. One grieving father, Fernando Suarez del Solar, whose son Jesus was killed fighting in Iraq in March 2003, said, "I remember well when in May of 2003 President Bush stood on an aircraft carrier dressed as a pilot in our glorious air force. It was the end of major combat operations in Iraq, and the banner read "Mission Accomplished." But since then, the President keeps saying, "We will stay in Iraq until we accomplish the mission." Didn't the President tell us that the mission was accomplished? Then why are we still in Iraq? Why have 2000 soldiers of our glorious armed forces had to die?"