As the U.S.-led war in Iraq hit its four year mark this week, members of the John Carroll community staged a peaceful protest and vigil on the university’s quadrangle.
About 60 people turned out on Monday night to hear students from the JCU chapter of Amnesty International and JUSTICE deliver speeches, read poems or recite testimonials from families of those killed in the war.
Several residents from the University Heights community also participated in the vigil.
Susan Childs, a Gesu parishioner, said she was protesting the war in light of her son’s service in Iraq. “He just completed the fifth year of his four year contract,” she said, noting that her son was home just 96 hours before being called back to duty.
Childs is a member of Military Families Speak Out, a national organization of families opposed to the war in Iraq who have loved serving in the military.
Junior Kristine Lee, president of JUSTICE, noted the opportunity the vigil gave for people like Childs and students with similar circumstances. “It’s important that all students have the chance to speak out, but especially important for the many students who have family and friends involved in the military.”
Junior Abbey Fox, president of John Carroll’s Amnesty International chapter, said hosting such a vigil is important, especially at a school like JCU.
“The student body is often viewed as apathetic,” she said. “We want to make the campus aware that there are people here strongly against the war, and that it’s OK to speak out.”
Protests were being held throughout the U.S. and around the world as the war’s fourth anniversary was marked this week.
A poll conducted March 9-11 by CNN/Opinion Research indicated a continuing deterioration of support for the Iraq War. Sixty-one percent of Americans surveyed stated it was “not worth” invading Iraq – a stark contrast to the 68 percent who expressed support the war four years ago.