Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Ladies on the Bridge

Wamm! Years ago, driving home from work, I would see them on the Lake Street/Marshall Avenue Bridge. They carried their protest signs with them – hoisting them for the drivers and passengers of cars to see. They shouted out to us their feelings about the madness of the war we had now involved ourselves in – the one in Iraq. I wanted to stop and chat with them, to encourage them, but it wasn’t a wise place to pull one’s car over. On Saturday I met one of the ladies at the farmers market on Lake Street.
by Charlie Leck

I read in this morning's Washington Post that the U.S. naval ships are proceeding toward Syria. It's become apparent, political and military sources say, that Syrian government leaders have used gas as a weapon against the protesters. It's like the weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq. We are told, with no uncertainty, that it's happening.

The women say that their emphasis now is on the drones.

“They’re illegal,” the women protest, “and too expensive as well.”

They have kind eyes and welcoming smiles. They’re patient and they seem so caring as well (they’re mothers, after all). Nevertheless, they’re mad as hell.

“Of those killed by the drones, only two percent are actually leaders of terrorist groups!”

I nod and make a donation to their work – to their organization.

“Do something! Take a stand!”

I nod, listening with sympathy.

“General James Cartwright, retired from the United States Marines, says that drones are costing America the moral high ground.”

They talk about President Obama – the president I love and admire so deeply.

“This president has ordered three times more drone strikes than George W did! Drone strikes fuel the insurgency and create hatred around the world for our nation.”

Specks of perspiration break out at my neck line. I can feel the dripping. It’s a very warm and humid morning, but it isn’t the weather that causes the dripping sweat. It’s the hard, cold truth.

So many of us oppose America’s stupid, irrelevant and purposeless wars! We haven’t the courage to march on the bridge, however. We haven’t the guts to chat with the women at the farmers market.

The ladies on the bridge are lovely and kind. They love America as much as anyone, and probably more than most. I admire them immensely. I need to support them. (I feel compelled!) The women on the bridge have it nailed. They have it right. I’d like to say they don’t – that they don’t understand the realities of a difficult, dangerous and tough world – but they do! They’ve nailed it.

I just filled out their membership form and attached a $59 check to it. I hope they keep walking. People sometimes yell hateful things at them. It must be difficult for them to retain their composure and to keep smiling kindly.

You can visit the WAMM web site at: and I think you should. Theirs is a 501(c)3 organization and your contribution to them will be deductible. They deserve our support and our encouragement.

These nice ladies on the bridge – you’ve gotta love ‘em.

“WAMM’s purpose is to dismantle systems of militarism, economic exploitation and global oppression!”

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