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Do I call this the 5th Annual Pittsburgh 'Peace' March, or 'Anti-War' March. Take your pick.

I wasn't 100% certain earlier today that I was going to attend today's rally. Felt a bit run down. But when I saw my 7 yr old daughter, Ivy, working on a costume and a sign this morning, all of her own doing, I knew I had to go. (BTW, the prisoner's jacket, and sign, were all Ivy's idea! Way to go Ivy! That's my girl!)

Last year's march, which was held the same time of year, was very cold and windy. Today it was balmy, about 70, but threatening rain all day. What a joy it was, when the sun broke through at the end of the march!

The march began in Oakland, on the grounds of the Pittsburgh Islamic Center. How symbolic. It began with speeches, including some given by Iraqi war veterans. When we got there, there was a female Veteran speaking. The police, this year, were much scaled back from the ridiculous numbers from last year. (Can view photos in my other gallery on this site to get an idea of what I'm talking about - 70 cops in riot gear, two deep, in front of the recruiting center, for starters!)

We made our way down Craig St., drums pounding, chanting ovelapping, then made a right only Fifth Ave., right in front of St. Paul's Cathedral. I spotted people hanging out windows of the huge apt. bldgs., watching. Down Fifth, through the heart of the Univ. of Pittsburgh campus. Pasts Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall, left down to Forbes Ave., then up Forbes Ave., and another left, to the spot between Pitt's Cathedral of learning, to our right, and the student union, on our left.

Several very moving speeches followed. At the end, The Raging Grannies performed. I first photographed them singing on 9/11 at the Cindy Sheehan appearance in Pittsburgh two years ago. They are wonderful! One of their songs had me choking back tears. I'm sure many others. As everyone chimed in on the last choruses.

Thomas Merton Center did an amazing job organizing this event, once again. If anyone from Pittsburgh wants to send a contribution to the center, it would be a wonderful one to make. As they did a very professional job putting this together.

More than anything, it was so moving for me to spend the day with my 7 yr old daughter, who really wanted me to take her to her first political march. She was very astute. And sensitive to what was going on. When it was all done, we went to get some lunch on Craig Street. As she was coloring, I asked her, "Ivy, what was your favorite part of today?" She replied, "Meeting the soldier." She kept wanting me to get closer, when he was talking, so she could see him. Even though she's somewhat shy in front of strangers, she whispered to me, "Mommy, can we go meet him."

I forget your name. I'm sorry soldier. But you made my daugher's day. And many others, I'm sure, for the amazing work you're continuing to do to protect our country, as well as souls all around the world.

That goes out to everyone else who has been working tirelessly to end this god awful war.


Wow. I was just looking over my photos from one year ago, posted on pg2 of this website. Check out this image: http://www.pbase.com/marymervis/image/57421071 At that point, there were 2,100 dead US soldiers. At this point in time, on that day last March, there were over 1,000 US soldiers still alive. Perhaps home with their kids. Now they're gone. Will we be doing this AGAIN, next March??? God help us.

Please DOUBLE CLICK on each image to view it larger.

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40 My little Ivy.  Her costume and sign was all her idea.  I only helped her spell 'criminal'!
40 My little Ivy. Her costume and sign was all her idea. I only helped her spell 'criminal'!
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100 The Pittsburgh Islamic Center - perfect location for the start of the march!
100 The Pittsburgh Islamic Center - perfect location for the start of the march!
110 Police were scaled back this year.  No riot police, or unmarked vans!
110 Police were scaled back this year. No riot police, or unmarked vans!
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190 Neighbors came out to watch...
190 Neighbors came out to watch...
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240 Ivy marching.
240 Ivy marching.
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320 My best vantage point - you can see the crowd wrapping around St. Pauls
320 My best vantage point - you can see the crowd wrapping around St. Pauls
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370 Lots of folks hanging out apt. windows...
370 Lots of folks hanging out apt. windows...
380 Thanks for putting motorcycles in front, instead of horses!
380 Thanks for putting motorcycles in front, instead of horses!
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590 OK.  This was amazing to me.  Fancy social club.  Check out the lady on the right...
590 OK. This was amazing to me. Fancy social club. Check out the lady on the right...
600  And she thought she was anonymous!  Who gives a thumbs down to a peace march?!?
600 And she thought she was anonymous! Who gives a thumbs down to a peace march?!?
610 My friends the Quakers
610 My friends the Quakers
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660 This little boy, asking for peace, for his 7th birthday...
660 This little boy, asking for peace, for his 7th birthday...
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690 The ubiquitous peace march helicopter....
690 The ubiquitous peace march helicopter....
700 Having carried heavy toddlers for 15 yrs...
700 Having carried heavy toddlers for 15 yrs...
710 I very much respected this dad!
710 I very much respected this dad!
720 University Bookstore.  What could they all be thinking, I wondered...
720 University Bookstore. What could they all be thinking, I wondered...
730 More university onlookers
730 More university onlookers
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750 On the roofs
750 On the roofs
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