5-6 PM TODAY (3/25/08) AT SONOMA PLAZA
There will be a Vigil on the Plaza Tuesday the 25th from 5 to 6 PM.
-- per icasualties.org:
U.S. Deaths Confirmed By The DoD: 3992
Reported U.S. Deaths Pending DoD Confirmation: 8
P.O. Box 786
Sonoma, CA 95476
--- end ---
Protesters gather Monday evening at Santa Rosa's Old Courthouse Square to observe the grim milestone of 4,000 U.S. troops killed in Iraq.
SR vigil marks grim U.S. toll in Iraq
Dozens of demonstrators gather to mourn milestone 4,000th military death in Iraq
By Laura Norton
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
March 25, 2008
Anti-war activists gathered around flag-draped coffins Monday evening to mark the death of the 4,000th American service member in the Iraq war.
About 70 people, a group that included veterans, teachers, retirees and others, participated in a vigil at Old Courthouse Square in Santa Rosa.
"Hearing about the 4,000th has made me very emotional," said Bill Simon, a Vietnam War veteran, who attended the vigil, five days after a similar gathering to mark the fifth anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq.
"It's sadness," said Simon, who served in the Air Force. "I'm sad that people are going through this. That the families, that the nation is going through this. We are a nation in a lot of pain today."
The gathering was organized by the Sonoma County Peace and Justice Center. In addition to the two prop coffins covered with American flags, demonstrators held posters declaring the war in Iraq unjust and unfair.
The demonstration drew both cheers and jeers from passing motorists.
Many of those participating said they had extensive experience with protests and were out to show solidarity with those saddened by the news of the 4,000th war death -- the result of a roadside bomb in Baghdad that killed four service members Sunday.
"The 4,000 mark is a biggie," said Nancy Wilkins, a retiree from Sebastopol. "I feel increasing sadness and anger and frustration about what is happening. I'm not an angry person, but I'm feeling angry and I think a lot of other people are too."
Nine service personnel from Sonoma and Mendocino counties have been killed in Iraq. Two local civilians also have died.
A protest at Old Courthouse Square last Wednesday marking the fifth anniversary of the war drew 200 people.
Those present Monday joined people across the nation, as peace groups such as Berkeley-based Code Pink and national chapters of peace and justice centers held rallies and vigils to mark the mortality milestone.
In Santa Rosa, anti-war activists said they had followed the death count and knew the day to mark the 4,000th service death was quickly approaching.
"I've been dreading it," said Ken Davis of Santa Rosa. "I want them all to come home safely. I firmly believe there are other nonviolent ways to solve our problems."
You can reach Staff Writer Laura Norton at 521-5220 or firstname.lastname@example.org