DELMAR: Anti-war group keeps the peace

They are mothers, grandmothers, veterans and young adults. They gather at 5 p.m. at the Delmar Four Corners when others are driving home from work every Monday with signs and placards reading, 'The war is a big mistake and No more blood for oil."

They are the Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace, and week after week since January 2003, these hardy souls continue to brave below-zero weather in winter and scorching heat in summer to wait for a honk of support or a thumbs up to confirm their belief that the war in Iraq is wrong on all fronts.

"This is the only way I know how to raise my voice against war," said Jane Streiff, a grandmother of 12 who has lived in Bethlehem since 1963 and attended her first protest in 1963 when she opposed the Vietnam War.

"I attended rallies in Washington back then," said Streiff. "We didn't have anything here like this."

The Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace meet for one hour after their weekly protest at A Perfect Blend to further discuss how they feel about the war and what they can do to raise awareness to others.

"There is a difference of opinion within the group," said Richard Jeroloman.

"Some protestors oppose only this war, others protest all violence against other people.

The way I see it, you are not justified to go in the Army and murder people in Iraq, but that is a debatable question within the group."

This past weekend marked the fourth anniversary of the war in Iraq, and a Walk for Peace was held in Albany. More than 3,200 Americans have died in Iraq since the war began.

"It has been averaging 17 guys a week that have been killed," said Jim McLean, a Vietnam Veteran who holds his own signs with a weekly tally of those Americans who are killed in the war.

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