Carolyn Ho, Lt. Watada's mom wrote this open letter last night and asked for friends to pass it on:
June 22, 2006
Dear Fellow Americans,
I am the mother of Lt. Ehren Watada, an officer stationed at Ft. Lewis. He is part of a Stryker brigade unit that deployed today to Iraq. Despite an unflinching commitment to his men and to democratic ideals, he chose not to accompany his men. His decision came through much soul-searching and through research and consultation with experts across disciplines, inside and outside of the military and the government.
After weighing the evidence, he came to the conclusion that he could no longer be silent while atrocities were committed in the name of democracy. He could no longer be a tool of an administration that used deception and lies to make the case for pre-emptive war.
As a member of the armed forces, sworn to uphold the US Constitution, he refuses to blindly participate in a war of aggression, an illegal war that undermines who we are as a nation and violates international law. Implicit in his oath as an officer is the duty to disobey all unlawful orders for; to carry out these orders renders him an accomplice to a criminal act. Furthermore, to order his men to participate in a war of aggression multiplies his guilt a thousand fold. His conscience will not permit him to do so. He believes that he can best serve them by taking a stand against the war. In so doing, he demonstrates that one does not relinquish the freedom to choose what is right, even in the military, and that the freedom to choose what is right transcends the allegiance to man and institutions.
As a mother, I have evolved from fearing for his safety and for his future to the realization that there is a higher purpose to all that has transpired. My son no longer stands at the crossroads. He has chosen “the road less travelled.
Other activists, like campaign staffer Dan Stonington, carried signs that asked why taxpayers would have to pay for lawyers' fees if property owners make claims. They made their way along city sidewalks talking to voters, including Jade Sousa, a Thurston County native whose family has a farm.
"I don't know enough about it" to support or oppose it, Sousa said, clasping her half-dozing baby, Ezra, in her arms. "As someone who lives on a small farm, I'm concerned about taxes and growth, and what kind of growth we encourage."
Sousa said she would hate to see anything that encourages sprawl, which I-933 foes imply is a potential result of the measure's loosening of land-use controls.
Please join your friends and neighbors for the Unity in the Community Festival, Sunday, July 2nd from 10 am till 5 pm in Sylvester Park located in Downtown Olympia.
This Unity in the Community Festival will be a family -friendly event featuring speakers, music, dance performance, spoken word performance, food booths and kid's activities. This event is intended to celebrate the broad diversity of our community and to encourage unity in the face of hate groups which seek to divide us.
Please note that the actual National Socialist Movement (Nazi) rally will be held the following day, July 3rd on the State Capital Steps. This event is intended to be entirely separate from that event.
For more information please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
To see the event flyer, please go to: here.