(Host) About 70 people gathered in Montpelier Wednesday to show support for the armed services. The crowd had a serious tone as they gathered on the steps of the Statehouse. People listened quietly as speakers took turns voicing their support for action in Iraq, the troops who are serving there, and for veterans of past wars.
Many people in the crowd waved flags and wore military insignias from past wars. Lester Corwin of Royalton was at the demonstration to support his son, who recently joined the National Guard. Corwin says it’s in the interest of the United States to go it alone in Iraq:
(Corwin) ” I used to just be an average citizen, and when he joined the Guard this summer, I became much more interested in military things. I do support the president of the United States as commander in chief. I do not support the United Nations.”
(Host) Several speakers said it’s important to support the men and women who are serving to protect the United States. Margaret Collins of Barre Town says she’s respectful of the opinions of peace demonstrators, but says antiwar efforts won’t solve the problem of Saddam Hussein:
(Collins) “I understand where they’re coming from everybody has a right to their own opinion and thoughts. I guess, I don’t understand how they think it’s going to solve anything if we don’t take care of it now, you know? It’s not going to solve itself, it’s not take care of itself. That’s why our men and women are over there protecting us.”
(Host) In addition to supporting American troops, some speakers at the rally advocated for better health services for veterans.