Bring ‘Em Home

John and Yoko would be proud

A few dozen demonstrators gathered late Tuesday in South Beach to protest the war in Iraq and rally to bring the troops home.

Waving signs that read "Honk" and "Bush, Cheney, send your own kids," the 42 volunteers from the action group were among hundreds of similar vigils scheduled to take place across the United States.

“There are 500 of these protests going on across the nation,” said organizer and retired US Coast Guard Dave Patlak. “We are calling on senators to stand up in September and end this war.”

Over his shoulder, on the corner of Alton Road and Lincoln Road, a volunteer read aloud the names of the more than 3700 American men and women who have died in Iraq since the war began in March 2003.

“Beyond the cost of human lives,” he added, “is the amount of money this war is costing tax payers in Miami.”

According to a recent report released by the Washington-based group, Miami-Dade county alone has spent an estimated $832 million tax dollars on funding the war. “Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has a real chance next month to change things,” scoffed Patlak over the crescendo of honking horns. --Joanne Green

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Frank Houston