On March 20, 2003, when “Shock and Awe” signaled our involvement in Iraq, many Americans thought it was a quick military exercise. But four years later, the death toll of U.S. soldiers is more than 3200. Recent revelations about moldy military hospitals and inadequate medical care are hard to ignore, and may be moving Americans to a tipping point about the war.
At a recent rally to bring the troops home that my sister April helped organize in Southern California, there was something different in the air: No political parties.
500 people came out to a park in Manhattan Beach, not a town known for political activism. All the cars that drove by honked in support. More than 75 high school students marched, something April said was new.
The marchers were of every age; in addition to the high schoolers, my 25-year-old son and 84-year-old mother were there.
A former Hermosa Beach mayor told the crowd that it wasn’t a Democratic or Republican rally, but a rally for all of us who want to bring the troops home. As my son’s banner said, “Our hearts are breaking.”
Lyra Halprin is a writer who lives in Davis, California