IVAW and Afghans for Peace Lead Historic March on NATO: Veterans Hurl Global War on Terror Medals towards NATO Summit As Thousands Cheer
Afghanistan and Iraq Veterans, hand-in-hand with Afghans for Peace, made history this Sunday when we led a march of thousands against NATO then returned our Global War on Terror medals to NATO's generals. With women from Afghans for Peace in the lead, almost fifty Afghanistan and Iraq veterans marched in formation, donning military uniforms and chanting and singing cadences: "No NATO, no war! We don't work for your no more!" Just blocks from the location where the NATO summit was taking place behind closed doors, veterans mounted the stage, announcing one by one why we were returning our war medals then throwing them towards the NATO summit.
"My name is Maggie Martin. I was a sergeant in the Army. I did two tours in Iraq. No amount of medals, ribbons or flags can cover the amount of human suffering caused by these wars. We don't want this garbage. We want our human rights. We want our right to heal."
"My name is Brock McIntosh. I was in the Army National Guard and served in Afghanistan from November '08 to August '09. Two months ago, I visited the monument at Ground Zero for my first time with two Afghans. A tragic monument. I'm going to toss this medal today for the 33,000 civilians who have died in Afghanistan that won't have a monument built for them. And this is for the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers."
Women from Afghans for Peace stood on stage with an Afghan flag alongside the veterans as they discarded their medals. The ceremony closed with the recitation of a poem by Saba Maher, a member of Afghans for Peace. Maher asked the crowd to bow their heads for a moment of silence for those who have lived under occupation. Many hung their heads and cried as the crowd fell silent.
Watch the video here: http://www.democracynow.org/2012/5/21/us_army_vets_join_with_afghans
We invite you, our members and supporters, to share in a moment that was one of the most significant in our lives. Please take some time to visit these links and learn about the history that we made on Sunday: