My Mom, Toni, retired from teaching grade school after over 20 years of service over the years. Of course that has only slowed her down a little. She's now a delegate for the Democratic party in California and spends quite a bit of time protesting the Iraq war, sorting out who would make the best candidate for president (she's seen Obama and Edwards on their Bay Area trips) and working for peace at the local level with a church group. Frankly, I thought retirement looked a lot more like relaxing before I saw her retire (also I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to bail her out of jail one of these days). Say what you will about her politics, but I'm proud of her passion for peace and it's certainly carried over to her sons. She and Dad called me this week from the California Democratic Convention and they were both sure that whomever the Democratic party picked to run would make a great step in the direction of peace. On the fourth anniversary of the war she wrote a letter to the editor of our hometown paper. I'm printing it here to show her more people will read it on a blog than in a paper these days (I've got to sell her own her own blog one of these days).
From The Argus - Sunday, March 25, 2007
ON MARCH 19, to mark the fourth anniversary of the war with Iraq, more than 100 members of our community gathered together at a candlelight vigil for peace to remember the 3,218 American soldiers and the 65,000 innocent Iraqi civilians who have lost their lives in this war.
I would like to thank all of those who participated in this event. There was a sense of unity among us as we mourned the loss of all those precious lives. We stood unified, too, in calling for an end to this tragic war.
More than 1,150 vigils were held across the country that evening.
One of my favorite slogans is "Democracy is not a spectator sport." I believe that concept is at the very heart of our nation. All of the people who cared enough to stand on a street corner on a chilly night holding a candle for peace understand that concept, too.
We will continue to write, call, and e-mail our legislators and President Bush. We will march, rally, hope and pray until this immoral war is ended. We must continue to speak out, for silence is the biggest enemy of democracy.
Toni M. Shellen
Thanks for working for a more peaceful world Mom.