|Brooklyn high school students and Grandmothers Against the War at May 18 vigil-photo by Rex Bounds|
The day was downcast, but the high school seniors from
It was the morning of May 18. About eight or nine kids, all Latino and African American, had joined the Grandmothers Against the War vigil at
Carol Husten, a former teacher and member of the Granny Peace Brigade, began the event by talking to the kids about the wars in
Barbara Harris, chair of the Granny Peace Brigade Counter Recruitment Committee, explained “opt-out” options so that recruiters wouldn’t be able to harass them in their homes. She told them that though they would be assured of being trained for all sorts of non-fighting jobs, they would more likely be trained for only one thing—combat.
Vietnam veteran and Veterans for Peace member Bill Steyert described the horrors and the immorality of the Vietnam War and urged the young people to stay out of the military.
At that point, the kids read a statement they prepared for the event: “In May 2003, former President Bush stated the Iraq War was part of ‘Mission Accomplished.’ Last year, 2010, President Obama shared that troops would come home by August 2011. Please, Mr. President, keep your word. No May 18, 2012 with our troops in
One of the students, Miguel Gomez, had this to say when asked whether the Iraq War was a just one: “The Iraq War is one of the most controversial wars that impacted society. Thousands of innocent civilians died in
Senior Andrea Navarro answered the same question: “I believe the war in
We were extremely inspired by these marvelous youngsters. We have long bemoaned the fact that there are no youth in today’s anti-war movement. We believe that without them, policy cannot be changed, as it was in the
Joan Wile is a grandmother of five who founded Grandmothers Against the War over six years ago. She is an ASCAP lyricist and composer with a long career as a singer in cabarets, recording studios, on movie sound tracks, and on records.