The purpose and the spirit of our vigil to End Endless War was best summarized in our media release and in the presence and determination of about 30 peace and justice activists from the Capital District. Here’s the media release:
Grannies for Peace will lead a vigil to End Endless War on Monday, September 21, 2015,
The International Day of Peace
WHO: Grannies for Peace, Beyond Afghanistan/No Drones Project, Women Against War, Many other local peace and justice groups.
WHEN: Monday, September 21, 2015, from 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM
WHERE: Corner of Central Avenue and Wolf Road, Colonie NY
WHAT: Our large banner will say: “WANT PEACE? NO DRONE KILLINGS. NO ARMS SALES.”
Banner with our Yard Sign message, with Bertha, Mabel and Fran. Photo by Mark Klein.
We will have signs saying End Endless War and many other signs and banners on the themes of drone killings, racism, militarism, greed, war and climate change, and the need for diplomacy. People are also invited to bring their own signs. We will vigil rain or shine and share our messages with the drive time commuters during this international day of peace.
WHY: In the words of one of our three Grannies for Peace co-coordinators, Dot Richards
The world is stunned by the surge of migrants into Europe – families on the run, the silent scourge of war! Humans by the hundreds of thousands desperately walking, running, swimming and pleading for asylum. Most of the deaths and misery of war are perpetrated against civilians. We must wake up to the fact that war is not the answer. War is immoral, foolish and futile. It must be the last resort always. When will we ever learn?
Dot with Grannies for Peace banner, photo by Mabel Leon
Sister Doreen Glynn shared a quote from Pope Francis, who will be visiting the United States at the time of our vigil:
We have tried so many times and over so many years to resolve our conflicts by our own powers and by the force of our arms. How many moments of hostility and darkness have we experienced; how much blood has been shed; how many lives have been shattered; how many hopes have been buried. … But our efforts have been in vain. Now, Lord, come to our aid! Grant us peace, teach us peace; guide our steps in the way of peace. Open our eyes and our hearts, and give us the courage to say: ‘Never again war!’; ‘With war everything is lost.’
— Invocation for Peace, held with Presidents Shimon Peres of Israel and Mahmoud Abbas of Palestine, Vatican Gardens, June 9, 2014
Doreen with one of the End Endless War signs that she created, photo by Mabel Leon
And Granny, Joan Thornhill, on vacation and enjoying time with her grandchildren and the natural beauty of the Pacific Coast, said:
Even though we have this time for serenity and we can afford to even think about Peace, our hearts are heavy with the thoughts of how senseless and meaningless WAR is! War is filled with fear and destruction–Peace is filled with courage and compassion. I have a t-shirt that says, ‘Peace also takes courage’ Pope Francis’ has certainly stepped up to the plate . We hope he gets even more courageous–maybe he could join us on the 21st on his way to Philly!
Joan and Pete holding the Drones Kill Civilians banner, photo by Mabel Leon
Dreams of a future without war: In the words of Patti Smith’s song, People Have the Power:
“To dream, to rule, to wrest the power from fools […] ”
Bertha, Mickie, Mari, Elaine and yin/yang, dove/drone sign designed by Kim. Photo by Mabel Leon
End Racism Now banner as part of the End Endless War message, photo by Mabel Leon
Marcia with one of our War Causes Climate Change signs. Photo by Mabel Leon
Sue Clark, stylin’ a beret.Photo by Mabel Leon
Pat Beetle with sign, photo by Mabel Leon
Central Avenue end of the vigil. Fran in the foreground. Photo by Mabel Leon
Barb, Sue Clark, Terri, Sue Dubois and great signs. Photo by Mabel Leon
Wolf Road end of the vigil with Harry, Maureen, Terri, Pete. Photo by Mabel Leon.
This is part of the story. For more photos and a view of the context in which this vigil was taking place you can see our blog article on Waging Peace , which also describes the young Afghan Peace Volunteers #Enough! campaign.