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You cannot miss the Crawford Peace House from HWY 185. Blocks of parked cars, a Pastors for Peace Bus, and volunteers directing traffic welcome you to the grounds. The house is surrounded by tents, furniture, a make-shift mess hall, and people. Young mothers, a bossy blonde from San Diego , families, friends, film people, “hippies” and veterans all spilled out from the house and onto the lawn.
The camaraderie was evident – we were pitching a tent within 10 minutes of our arrival and 4 others were helping us, a teenage boy later pointed us to refreshments, and dozens of handmade signs told you where to recycle and where to find a restroom. And that bossy blonde from San Diego would get you on a shuttle out to Camp Casey.
Donna from Temple, TX drove us the 6 miles to Camp Casey. She gave us a “tour of the neighborhood” recalling the events of the past few days. Six hundred white crosses lined the south side of the road beginning a few hundred feet from the campsite ending on a corner across from Ms. Sheehan’s Camper. That corner is marked by a metal cutout of the U.S. – it reads “America In Iraq” and a count of the killed and wounded is updated daily on it with chalk. Tents, cars, and people line the ditch just off the road. Glo, best friend of 20 years to the blonde lady from San Diego, drove us back to the Peace House. Along the way she shared the details of their cross-country drive and mutual determination to “stay as long as the Peace Mom does.”
Cindy Sheehan and Anas Shallal of Iraqi Americans for Peaceful Alternatives spoke at a lunch time meal as veterans, families, and friends crowded under a tent to listen. We ran into Carlos Guerra of the Express News who has written several articles about his time in Crawford. He quotes her as saying:
This is not about politics, it’s about right and wrong and life and death, and we’re not going to let the White House throw up smokescreens… This war was wrong to begin with, and it’s wrong to stay there. Let’s end it now before any more families join us, more Iraqis are killed and before your babies have to go fight it.
I was in Crawford less than 2 weeks ago, but a series of unfortunate events kept this post from going up sooner. You can view pictures here.