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The crowd was small but diverse. The reaction was almost 100 percent positive. Not a minute went by that a car didn’t honk or the people in them weren’t waving or flashing peace signs.

By Mike Cosentino
Larson Newspapers

The crowd was small but diverse. The reaction was almost 100 percent positive.

Not a minute went by that a car didn’t honk or the people in them weren’t waving or flashing peace signs.

Such was the reaction to a peace rally in Sedona.

On the corner of Hwy. 89A and Coffee Pot Drive, local peace activists gathered to protest the war in Iraq.

The Tuesday, Aug. 28, anti-war demonstration was part of a coordinated effort all over the country by MoveOn.org.

Local organizer, Michelle Herrick, is the wife of Vietnam veteran Merle Herrick, who was carrying a peace message during demonstration.

“I know only too well the effect of war,” Michelle Herrick said. “The Disabled American Veterans have been opposed to this war from the beginning.”

“We’re holding candlelight vigils and town hall meetings in cities all over the nation,” she said.

MoveOn.org calls it “National Take a Stand Day” to remember the human cost of the war and urge our members of Congress to stand up in September and end this endless war, said Debra May, a Sedona peace activist.

“I am here to support the troops,” Merle Herrick said. He served in Vietnam from 1966 to 1968 and worked as a combat infantryman, a forward observer and a scout. He said other protestors were also veterans.

The Herricks work with the Vietnam Veterans Restoration Project and the East Meets West Foundation.

“We have traveled to Vietnam to help build homes for the people my husband fought against 30 years ago,” Michelle Herrick said.

She has a cousin currently fighting in Iraq.

Other demonstrators said they were there because they hate the war but support the troops also.

“The best way to support the troops is to bring them home,” May said.

Ken Froessel and Greg Mackie were handing out information regarding the war.

Mackie encouraged note of his information that discussed who is paying and profiting from the war.

His compiled information notes that Congress has cut U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs funding twice during the Iraq war and that patriots question leadership and demand accountability.



Mike Cosentino can be reached at 282-7795, Ext. 128, or e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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