Wednesday, August 31, 2005

A Sunday afternoon in Crawford

I finally made it to Crawford last Sunday. There were lots of people still there, several hundred. My friends and I went to the Peace House, then took a shuttle to Camp Casey II where we attended a wedding and shared a meal with other pilgrims. One of the friends has asthma and had to leave before Martin Sheen came on stage. The person who shuttled us back to the Peace House drove around by Camp Casey I so we could see it. They said that the day before there were approximately 3000 protesters and 1500 counter-protesters. The state police and sheriff's deputies were lined up in between the two groups.

I saw my friend Sumner Erickson there, and what follows is an e-mail he sent out telling about his experience that day. I've included it here because he was there longer than I was and had more to tell.

I'm glad I was able to attend this historic event.

Sumner's such a sweetie, here's his account:

My final trip to Crawford was beyond words. No superlatives can overstate how incredible the experience was!!!!!

There were many highlights:The Reverend Al Sharpton speaking at an interfaith service on Sunday Morning. His words were incredibly eloquent and right on! Also at the service were representatives of Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity including Catholicism and Episcopalians, as well as those who do not practice an organized religion but support those who do and the efforts they are making toward Peace On Earth. It was a very sacred and spiritual service!

At the end, 3500 roses bought by mothers from all over the country were distributed to all. It was our solemn responsibility to take them to the field of white crosses paying tribute to those killed in Iraq and place them at the crosses. The field looked so beautiful and sad with all these roses placed at the crosses.

A wedding! Two Austinites who were at Camp Casey last week changed their plans for a big church wedding and got married on Sunday at Camp Casey with all of us attending!

Martin Sheen leading a Roman Catholic "Hail Mary" service with Cindy to pay tribute to those killed in Iraq.A fter the service we all moved to the field of white crosses and taps was played. At a noontime rally on Saturday, I was privileged to lead God Bless America. I was told before the Rally that this was Cindy's favorite song! Joan Baez led the next song!

My personal highlight came during my solo set later Saturday during the BBQ. As I have shared before, I wrote music forCarly's Poem, the poem that Cindy's daughter wrote two weeks after Casey was killed in Iraq. I was hoping that I could play this for Cindy and Carly before performing it live to see if they wanted it to be played. I had emailed the song to Cindy's people early in the week, but they had trouble opening it and so Cindy had not heard it. I tried to get to her and play it for her before I went on, but she was too busy. So I decided that I would not play it.

During my set I noticed that Cindy was near the stage greeting people and I thought that if she was still there at the end of the song, I would ask her about playing Carly's Poem. Well by the time I finished the song, she had moved to the middle of the big tent at Camp Casey II. So, I found myself announcing to the crowd that I hoped that everyone knew of Carly's Poem and that I had written music for it but was not going to play it until Cindy and Carly approved it. The next thing I know, Cindy had made her way back to the front of the stage and said to me "play it". SO!!! She sat in the front row and I played it! She smiled and cried and I was blown away at the solemn opportunity of the moment! After I finished she came to the front of the stage and kissed me. Incredible! Profound! Blessings abounding!


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