4000 Deaths ~ 170 in Florida

Last year on this day, we all had hoped that we would not be gathering again. After 5 years of the War in Iraq, we have now arrived at the sad milestone of 4000 American soldiers killed in Iraq. Regretfully, the time has now come to mourn and share our heartfelt sorrow at this agonizing loss to our nation and our people once again.

Many CODEPINK chapters will host memorial vigilS this Monday, March 24.
For more information about vigils in your area, contact these coordinators:
GAINESVILLE ~ jacque@codepinkalert.org

ORLANDO ~ www.codepinkorlando.blogspot.com or email codepinkorlando@gmail.com

SARASOTA ~ bellaespana@verizon.net and/or lcmitch78@yahoo.com

SOUTH FL WPB ~ spiderhill@usa.net
The vigil will be at the Mall at Wellington Green, 7:00pm Corner of West Forest Hill Blvd and 441, Wellington, FL the evening after the PB Post announces the 4000th death

SW FL Ft MYERS ~ hrauen@comcast.net
TALLAHASSEE ~ codepinktally@yahoo.com
TAMPA BAY ~ codepinktampabay@yahoo.com and/or tarotlaydee@gmail.com
UCF University of Central Florida ~ xofashionkillaxo@aol.com
VOLUSIA/FLAGLER ~ RSVP: cassydoan@aol.com

Please bring flowers, candles and signs. You are also welcome to bring any other items or props to this vigil. Some cities are doing chalkings of the bodies with the numbers of the US and Iraqi casualties on the sidewalks outside their congressional offices. Some women are dressing in black and wailing in the streets. Some are wearing black armbands with the number 4000, some will be wearing pink tape with the number 4000, some are marching and closing down intersections to draw attention to this travesty and some will be reliving the day they were informed that their loved one was dead.

Regretfully, 4,000 is just the tip of the iceberg. According to CBS, we currently have 120 veterans committing suicide every week or an average of 17 every day. One third of our soldiers have reported to being raped or had an attempted rape during their service. Over 40,000 Iraq veterans have returned home with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, loss of limbs and/or severe head trauma. Their families now bear a heavy burden and are suffering from physical and mental abuse, loss of their homes, jobs and loved ones.

Nobel Laureate Stephen Stiglitz of Columbia and Harvard University public finance Professor Laura Bilmes estimate War costs to be 3 trillion now and the service (interest) on the debt alone will amount to $900 billion. Gas, Bread, Milk and eggs have risen to all time highs in our country and the dollar is pitiful in the world markets. It is not going to get any better, any time soon. In fact, most experts are predicting even worse economic times to come.

Yet the national media has all but ignored the peace movement and entirely ignored testimonies last week of the Iraq veterans who spoke at Winter Soldier. The Washington Post only covered this event in the local section of their paper and none of the major television stations even bothered to show up to hear OUR veterans speak! Testimony by Vets at WINTER SOLDIER: http://ivaw.org/wintersoldier/testimony/video

We do not know accurately how many lives have been devastated in Iraq but the chaos and constant trauma has left no one untouched or unaffected. It's possible that over a million have now died and we know that millions more have been displaced and/or had their daily lives destroyed. I hope that YOU will hear this call to action and let your voices be heard.

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