THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING

Vigil to mark anniversary of Iraq war

Members of Citizens for an Informed Community will protest Saturday in Bridgewater. Members of Citizens for an Informed Community will protest Saturday in Bridgewater. (Robert Klein for The Boston Globe/File 2008)
By Christine Legere
Globe Correspondent / March 18, 2010

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Area residents concerned about the US presence in Afghanistan and Iraq will be toting signs this Saturday calling for the return home of American military men and women, in a vigil to be held from 11 a.m. to noon in Bridgewater’s Central Square.

Citizens for an Informed Community, whose members come from Bridgewater, Taunton, Brockton, Easton, West Bridgewater, and Halifax, say Saturday marks the seventh anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq and they are inviting the public to join their Vigil of Remembrance, “for all those who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan and all who now suffer because of the war,’’ said member Mary Petrie.

Petrie said her group stands in highly visible spots with their placards every two weeks. “We’ve had stand-outs in Bridgewater, West Bridgewater, Taunton, and Easton,’’ she said.

The signs they will carry on Saturday bear the same message the group has been pushing since it was formed in 2003. Placards bear messages such as “Out of Afghanistan,’’ “Yes We Can, Yes We Must,’’ “Not One More Death, Not One More Dollar,’’ and “End the War Now.’’

“We have varying opinions, . . . but mostly we want our government to think of better, more peaceful ways to solve conflicts, such as negotiation or real assistance that matters, instead of involving ourselves in another country’s civil war,’’ said member Mary Pendleton in an e-mail. “Many of us feel we are only creating more terrorists by our war-mongering. Others say we simply can’t afford war; we have too many problems at home.’’

According to the group’s website, the Iraq and Afghanistan initiatives will cost taxpayers more than $1 trillion by this September, based on government spending figures.

Pendleton said she believes the group’s message has gotten through. “I think the mood really has changed to ‘Let’s get our troops home where they belong,’ ’’ she said in an interview. As motorists pass sign-bearing members, “they honk or give us thumbs-up,’’ Pendleton said. “We have very few negative ones.’’

For more information on the vigil or on Citizens for an Informed Community, visit the group’s website at www.informedcommunity.net.

Christine Legere can be reached at christinelegere@yahoo.com.