By SHERRY VAN ARSDALL
THE GOSHEN NEWS
For 10 years, Evelyn Kreider hasn’t let a day go by without remembering the servicemen and women who have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“It’s so sad, sad, sad,” Kreider said. “We tend to forget what has happened in Iraq and Afghanistan. I favor diplomacy. We need to remind people of those who have died over there.”
A group of people have met every Wednesday at the intersection of Lincoln Avenue and Main Street in Goshen for about nine years. Their original goal was to protest the Iraq War.
Wednesday marked the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq by Coalition forces
Kreider has been a participant in the protest for seven years, she said.
The group of eight protestors Wednesday bundled up against the bitter wind to protest the violence that has occurred in Iraq and Afghanistan. They also read some of the names of the soldiers killed in action, which currently stands at 6,676.
“We need to remember to pray for them and their families,” Ethel Umble said. “I will be happy when the war is over. It was a mistake from the first. This brings a remembrance to people. They forget we are at war. People are killed every day in these places where there is violence.”
Some of the protesters held signs, including Moses Beachy, who’s participated in the protest each week for about four years.
He held a two-sided sign with the phrases — “War is Bankrupting America!” and “Healthcare not Warfare.”
“I don’t believe in war. War simply makes more enemies. The way to live with people is at peace, not in war. I am a conscientious objector,” Beachy said. “Most people think the answers are in armaments and going to war to solve problems. Just think, during World War II, if they spent all that money doing good and helping the poor instead of on a war, it would be a different world now. That’s my opinion.”
The driver of a small bus honked their horn two or three times, while stopped for a red light at the intersection.
Beachy said he’ll get “four or five OKs,” each time he’s out with his sign.
“People blow their horn, put their thumbs up or nod their head,” Beachy said.
Merlin Becker-Hoover said he joined the group as a remembrance to those in the military who have died in action and the veterans who are now committing suicide on a frequent basis.
“There are 22-per-day committing suicide. The cost of war extends into the future,” Becker-Hoover said. “We recognize it was a problem and a mistake from the beginning. We don’t feel the loss here in Goshen. The number of deaths keeps growing and the violence is still there. We do live in a violent world.”
After they bowed their heads for a moment of silence, Mabel Brunk read a prayer for non-violence.
“May our love befriend enemies,” she said,