Candlelight Vigil in Augusta

By: Kate Tillotson
By: Kate Tillotson

October 26, 2005
It’s been confirmed that more than 2,000 soldiers have lost their lives in Operation Iraqi Freedom and that figure is stirring up a frenzy of anti-way protests nationwide. News 12 is on your side with how some are remembering those killed in the war.

Headlights and streetlights on Walton Way Extension, but on this Wednesday evening it was candlelight that stood out.

“I’d call it a vigil, a peace vigil in commemoration of our soldiers,” said Denise Traina, organizer.

Upon hearing the latest casualty count from Iraq, 2,000 soldiers now confirmed dead, members of the Unitarian Universalist Church stood silent as their message was met with hoots and honks.

“I’ve been against the war since before it started,” said Nina Benedetto, church member.

Nina Benedetto has stood in several of these ceremonies since Operation Iraqi Freedom began. Since then, she says these honks have gotten friendlier.

“They were honking to be rude to us and now they’re honking to join us, so they may not be standing out here but their hearts are with us,” Benedetto said.

And their hearts also go out for all soldiers killed in combat. Compared to other, lengthier wars, the fight in the Middle East has cost the least number of American lives. According to the Washington Headquarters Services, 35,000 Americans died in the 5-year Korean War. In Vietnam 57,000 were killed in 14-years.

With the flame of this war still not fanned out, this group gathers in unison for a peace of mind.

“This is one of the opportunities first of all to gather and honor those who have sacrificed, passed away. And to reiterate our feelings about how important it is to negotiate peace,” Traina said,

True-Majority is another group that helped organize and promote this event. According to their website, it’s a grassroots project aiming to educate others. Those involved include business leaders, retired military leaders and church members.


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