Father’s Day marks Indian Island peace vigil

Munitions, Growler flights focus of protestor ire

Posted 6/19/19

Doug Milholland had his two granddaughters sitting beside him in the grass, as they ate a potluck lunch with their friends at the LB Good Memorial Park June 16, and anyone who drove by that afternoon could have been forgiven for thinking it was just a Father’s Day celebration.

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Father’s Day marks Indian Island peace vigil

Munitions, Growler flights focus of protestor ire

Posted

Doug Milholland had his two granddaughters sitting beside him in the grass, as they ate a potluck lunch with their friends at the LB Good Memorial Park June 16, and anyone who drove by that afternoon could have been forgiven for thinking it was just a Father’s Day celebration.

But the group’s fellowship was intended to send a message, and Milholland and those who joined him were directing their message to Naval Magazine Indian Island, just across the street from the park where they’d gathered, and where Milholland had staked out a string circle 100 feet in diameter, with stakes eight feet tall.

According to Milholland, the park wasn’t large enough for him to stake out an eight-foot-tall cylinder 193 feet in diameter, which he explained would be the size needed to hold the blood of the 1.3 million people who are conservatively estimated to have been killed in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan as a result of the U.S.-led “War on Terror.”

“The circle that stands right now is only big enough to hold the blood of half a million people,” Milholland said. “But a lot of the weapons that shed that blood were transferred through here.”

By contrast, Milholland noted that a circle large enough to hold the blood of the roughly 3,000 who died during the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks would have a diameter of about nine feet.

“Have we had enough?” Milholland said. “Are we ready to declare peace?”

While Milholland followed his Quaker conscience and exhorted his companions to act as “an active force for life,” Rick Olfman served salmon and salads to the group.

While Olfman lives close enough that hearing the EA-18G “Growler” jets take off is a regular occurrence at his home, it’s not just the noise to which he objects.

“We want people to know who their neighbors are here,” Olfman said, as he bemoaned the noise pollution suffered by the forests of Olympic National Park and beyond. “So many paychecks in this area are drawn from the military/industrial complex. It would be nice to have more options.”

Elizabeth Murray, of the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action near Naval Base Kitsap in Bangor, agreed with Milholland that Father’s Day was an auspicious occasion for such an event, which included sharing sessions and poetry readings as the day went on.

“How much money gets spent on endless wars?” said Murray, which also took issue with having so many of those munitions “right next door. Our nation’s nuclear arsenal is about to receive a trillion-dollar upgrade. what does that leave for our children, in education, in health care and in infrastructure?”

Murray and Dennis Daneau pointed out that the nuclear capability of the submarines stationed at Bangor dwarfs that of the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and Daneau added that the Cotton Building in Port Townsend is tentatively scheduled to host programs Aug. 6 and 9, in remembrance of Hiroshima and Nagasaki respectively.

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