Iraq War Protests Continue Nationwide
Monday, March 19, 2007; 11:11 PM
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Linda Englund placed flowers Monday beside a small white flag commemorating a soldier killed in Iraq, a friend of her son, who was standing beside him when he was shot in 2004.
"I always feel like another foot, it would have been my son," she said.
Englund was among the volunteers who erected 4,000 flags in long rows at the city's Waterfront Park, one of numerous events around the country to mark the war's fourth anniversary.
A day after at least one demonstration turned violent, protesters peacefully remembered the military and civilian dead and ardently called for the U.S. to bring its troops home.
In televised remarks from the White House, President Bush asked for patience from a public that solidly opposes the war, saying his plan to stabilize Baghdad with more combat and support troops needs time to work.
More than 3,200 members of the U.S. military have been killed in the war. Iraqi civilian deaths are estimated at more than 54,000, possibly much higher.
Englund's son, 24-year-old Army Sgt. John Englund, was wounded twice in Iraq. Last week, another of his friends was killed in action, she said.
Gazing at the fluttering flags, Englund said she thought about "the loss of what they all would have done with their lives. They were all courageous in doing what they thought was right or what was asked of them."
Organizers said they chose white flags to match the color of grave markers for the slain soldiers.
A rally involving as many as 15,000 people Sunday in Portland, Ore., ended in with scuffles and police using pepper spray. No such trouble was reported at the much smaller demonstrations around the country Monday, although San Francisco police arrested 57 people who blocked a streetcar line in the heart of the financial district by lying in the street, draped in white sheets, to symbolize Iraq's war dead.
Also on Monday, 44 people were arrested outside the New York Stock Exchange on disorderly conduct charges.
As rain fell in Seattle, hundreds of protesters participated in a march and two rallies. The crowd appeared to contain more than 1,000 people. Several thousand had demonstrated the day before.