Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Memorial Day Peace Gathering, Santa Cruz

On Monday, I drove up to Santa Cruz at the invitation of Annie Kelley, a Buddhist Peace Fellowship friend who I first met in Washington DC in 2005. The Santa Cruz BPF chapter organized this event. It was a beautiful morning.

We gathered at Mission Plaza in Santa Cruz, and then walked through downtown and along the river, in silence. Our intention was to hold the memories of all who have died in the Iraq war, on all sides, in reverence. As we walked past the sidewalk cafes and stores on Pacific Street, it was amazing to feel how the energy transformed and other people fell silent too.

We ended up back at the plaza and formed a large circle, then some of the BPF members unrolled a huge scroll that they've kept for the past few years -- one of the members did some research to find the names of some of the Iraqi citizens who have been killed, and has kept adding names to this scroll over the years. It spanned the whole length of our circle of about 150 people.

I was invited to read some of the names of U.S. soldiers from the Santa Cruz/San Jose region who have been killed, along with Katherine Thanas, the abbot of the Santa Cruz Zen Center.

So, another Memorial Day passes... so sad to reflect on the loss of life as a result of this war.

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