Vigil to mark five years in Iraq
Story by Chris Graham
Local demonstrators raising issue with the war in Iraq represented a small minority of those willing to express a public opinion about the war.
“We get much more positive feedback now. People give us a thumbs-up, they honk, they wave, they say, Thank you for doing this, thank you for being out here, we’ve got to end this war. So it’s very different now. Very different,” said Elizabeth La Grua, a local peace activist who is helping organize a vigil to mark the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq that will be held on Tuesday in Staunton.
The vigil will begin at 6 p.m. and will take place at the corner of Greenville Avenue and Richmond Road.
The focus of the vigil will be on the costs of the war – from the 4,000 American lives lost to the more than $1 trillion that the United States has spent on the war and its stalemated aftermath.
“It’s very important to let people know that this war is still going on, and we’re emphasizing the cost of it – $12 billion a month could buy a lot of the things that this country needs, instead of spending it on this war. So we think it’s important to remind people that the cost of the war is bankrupting this country,” La Grua said.
“So many people have died – nearly 4,000 American troops, some estimates say up to a million Iraqis, which is devastating. They have many, many refugees. We’ve totally destroyed the country, the infrastructure. We’ve done some terrible things, and we’re going to have to figure out, how do we make up for it?” La Grua said.
“Leaving Iraq will help them to get a better start on fixing it themselves. But we’ll have to figure out how to undo the damage, if we can,” La Grua said.