Tulsans Gather For Iraq War Four Year Anniversary

Monday, March 19th 2007, 9:15 pm
By: News On 6

Peace activists in Tulsa strongly disagree with the president's assessment of the war and they used Monday’s anniversary to voice their displeasure. Anti-war groups held several events throughout the day, all with a singular message: four years is long enough, bring the troops home. Singing songs of peace and performing ceremonies in remembrance of Oklahomans killed in Iraq, 150 activists solemnly marked the four-year anniversary of the war.The News On 6’s Chris Wright reports they say they did not organize the memorial at East Side Christian Church as a protest, but instead to pay tribute to those lost.

"We're definitely pro troops. They are our neighbors, our friends. They're our family. We have empathy, sympathy, for all them," said Nancy Moran of Tulsa Peace Fellowship.

Everyone entering Monday’s service was asked to wear a burlap sack, which organizers say are an ancient symbol of repentance and grief.

"So that's what they symbolize tonight, as they have through the ages," said Mary McAnally of Tulsa Peace Fellowship.

Tulsa Peace Fellowships acts of repentance and grief began earlier in the day with a visit to Congressman John Sullivan's Tulsa office. The group met with staff members, and delivered dozens of miniature flag-draped coffins, one for each Oklahoman soldier killed in Iraq. Four years into the war, the activists say they are not surprised about how things have turned out. They say they are using the anniversary as an opportunity not to gloat, but to plead with the government for peace.

"We could have predicted this when our government didn't,” said Moran. “I'm just an ordinary citizen and I knew it would turn out this way."

"Help us to help you Mr. President, to make our nation and our world a more peaceful place for the sake of all our children," said McAnally.

Monday’s memorial also featured a Calling of the Names. Those in attendance read aloud the names of every Oklahoman killed in the war. The ceremony ended with a candlelight vigil.