Will Earl carry the message back?

I attended U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer’s Town Hall today, as I mentioned in my last post. I signed up to speak, but didn’t get up right away to join the two long lines that formed behind the two microphones. I wanted to gauge the tenor of the crowd.

And every person who spoke urged impeachment. Impeachment of President Bush, and President Cheney. Some people praised Blumenauer’s good works and thanked him for the opportunity to speak at this public forum. Some few people told the Congressman that they did not trust him or his words, and at least one man screamed that Rep. Blumenauer was a coward for taking no action. Everyone spoke with passion.

They all called for impeachment, and to end the war in Iraq. Now, not later. Every single person.

I wish I could remember all their stories, their names, and their words. Maybe video of the event will be put up at some point. But of them all, one man’s story will stay with me. He spoke of a tree, in NE Portland, on 45th and Alameda, that displays pictures of a young man who grew up and played in the same neighborhood as the very theater in which we all stood. That young man was killed in Karbala by a cluster bomb laid by our own forces, using weapons America legally should not have been using, according to this man. And the news of this young man’s death reached his father, the man speaking, on 2 July 2003.

How did I remember the date, if I’m unable to recall the words of all the other speakers? Because this man, voice shaking with the anger and sadness and loss of a parent who has outlived his child, said that when he went home after hearing of his son’s death, he turned on the television to see President George W. Bush tell the enemies of America, “Bring it on!”

President Bush and his courtiers are not the ones who are paying the price for the war and all the other mistakes our government is making. We are. And the message I heard from the citizens in that theater today is that we will not pay this price any longer.

Please, Congressman. Bring that message back to Washington D.C. and make your colleagues take action.