Korean War Veteran, Bill Bires, to Address Friday Rally in Support of "Bring Them Home Now!" Campaign

Event:War Veteran to Address Friday Rally on "Bring Them Home Now!" Campaign
Date: Friday, August 15th, 2003
Time: 5:00 p.m.
Place: Pioneer Courthouse Square

Mr. Bill Bires, an active long-time member of Northwest Veterans for Peace, will speak at today’s weekly peace rally at Pioneer Courthouse Square on the just-launched "Bring Them Home Now!" campaign. Bires attended the West Coast press conference in San Francisco for the campaign, and will be discussing the role of military families, veterans, reservists and active-duty military personnel in the campaign to end the US occupation of Iraq. The Portland Peaceful Response Coalition weekly rally begins at 5:00 p.m. at Pioneer Courthouse Square.

At the press conference in Washington, D.C., a co-founder of Military Families Speak Out, Nancy Lessin, cited the statement by George W. Bush that spurred them into action. "We want to talk about the three words of false bravado uttered by President Bush from a safe and secure location, surrounded by armed guards," explained Lessin. "George Bush said, 'Bring 'em on.' We say, 'Bring them home now.' "1

According to members of "Bring Them Home Now", they have received thousands of e-mails supporting the campaign and that military families are becoming less reticent to criticize the war. They point out that many of these supporters begin their e-mail messages by saying that they’re Republican, that they voted for Bush, and that they supported the Iraq war in the beginning.

One of the most moving speakers at the press conference was Fernando Suarez del Solar, whose son, Marine Lance Cpl. Jesus Suarez, was killed in Iraq on March 27. Directing his question to George W. Bush, he asked "how many more of our sons do you need to bring our children home?" Along with others at the press conference, Suarez accused Bush of lying about the threat posed by Iraq, pointing to the failure to find any of the fabled "weapons of mass destruction". "My son will not return, but I want those other children to return to our homes," Suarez said. "You're destroying the American people. I hope God will forgive you."

1. All references to the Washington, D.C., press conference are based on or quote from "Parents of Troops in Iraq Fight to Get Them Home", by Steve Voge, Washington Post, Thursday, August 14, 2003; Page B02 (online edition).


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