War Anniversary Prompts Debates

By: Alana Adams
By: Alana Adams

About a hundred people first met at west street plaza next to the river in Downtown Reno Sunday afternoon to discuss why this weekend stands out among the rest.

Laura Fillmore says everyone has a different reason, but they all agree on why they're here.
"For me personally, I have a son that's going to be draft age by the time the Bush administrations going to leave office and I refuse to be the enemy of another mother anywhere."

Organizers of the rally say those who attended the event may not always agree politically, but they say everyone opposes the war.
Dave Gustafson drove all the way from Fallon to stand in opposition of the war.
"I'm here to support our troops. I served in Vietnam for 13 months, a machine-gunner in an infantry company. I know what wars all about. I know this war is a bogus deal. We need to start understanding if we want real peace, war isn't the way."

The rally took protesters through the streets of downtown winding up at the steps of the federal courthouse on Virginia Street: meeting face-to-face with those standing in support of the war and the president.
Jim Ballard says there was no question about showing his support today.
"We're here to support our troops, our president, and the mission. Nothing in life is easy and this is an example of that. We had Clinton for president for 8 years and he had the same intelligence and it took somebody with some guts to act on it. That's what President Bush did and we're here to support him."

Todd Zuccato agreed as he chose to ignore the peace protestors and just focus on the traffic driving by.
"We're all for bringing the troops home. No one wants to see our troops stay indefinitely, but coming home now would be a failed mission. It would leave Iraq in a state of civil war and would leave their country susceptible to many, many more terrorist attacks."

The diverse crowd did calm down after a few minutes and heated debates.
Janet Riggs says she's been a Democrat her entire life, and she also says that it was ok to stand side by side with those who have different opinions.
"I feel we need more strong representation. We need not reach across the aisle for so much cooperation that we end up with no posture except for lying down. This is something we're finally beginning to see some grass roots coming, and that's what we need."


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