10th anniversary of peace vigil | LETTER TO THE EDITOR
October 3, 2011 · Updated 11:29 AM
To the editor:
Oct. 8, 2001 marks the date when people began standing at the Bayview Park-and-Ride from 10 to 11 a.m. every Saturday. That day 10 years ago was the beginning of the war in Afghanistan following 9/11, and subsequently, the war in Iraq which was not connected in any way with 9/11.
Those of us standing knew that sending troops into Afghanistan and Iraq was not going to do anything to solve the tragedy of 9/11 or to make us safer. In fact, we are seeing the results of those two catastrophic decisions every day in our country. The debt incurred from these two unfunded wars is sabotaging our future and the future of our children, and we have largely squandered the moral high road we once enjoyed as a country.
A recent study by Brown University projects the long term cost of these wars at $4 trillion, including the expenses of long-term care of disabled veterans and war costs for 2012-20. Can anyone wrap their brain around $4 trillion? I can’t.
In human terms, 224,000 to 258,000 people have died directly from warfare, including 125,000 civilians in Iraq. Many more have died indirectly, from the loss of clean drinking water, healthcare and nutrition. An additional 365,000 have been wounded and 7.8 million people — equal to the combined population of Connecticut and Kentucky — have been displaced. For every 1 person killed in 9/11, 73 lives have been lost since in these two wars.
These figures are a staggering testimony to the destructiveness and futility of war. We will continue to stand at Bayview every Saturday morning to witness our profound hope that this country will find better ways to exercise our leadership in the world.
Please join us from 10 to 11 a.m. Oct. 8, even if you only come for one day. Bring a letter expressing your views on war (copies to be sent to our president, representative and senators), snacks to share, a sign (or use one of ours), and your commitment to finding alternatives to war.