Since 2004, a group of grandmothers have gathered every Wednesday at the eastern entrance to Rockefeller Center in New York City to demonstrate against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Meeting now for almost 350 consecutive weeks, they normally stand in silence with placards and occasionally chant “bring our troops home now — alive!” Though activism when it comes to opposing war is not completely infrequent in the United States, persistence is what makes this group unusual.
According to the article On 5th Ave., a Grandmothers’ Protest as Endless as the Wars by Clyde Haberman, it was Joan Wile, 67, who crafted the idea of the weekly vigil. “We’ve been here even in the worst possible weather, in pouring rain and exhausting heat,” Wile said. Though the group doesn’t discriminate against those who join them (some younger women in their 50s and a few men drop by), they view still meeting every week “unfortunate” simply because the wars are still raging. Anne Moy, 92, is the oldest regular protestor. She commutes by bus to ensure her opinion is being voiced.
“Our point is to interfere with people’s routine,” said protestor Jenny Heinz, 65. “As people walk down the street, we have an impact on their consciousness.”
Laurie Leon, who is fairly new to the weekly gatherings, adds, “It’s not easy, but I won’t stop ‘till I drop.”
At Home Care Assistance Columbus, we see evidence every day that even when ailments make it difficult to execute tasks, older adults who remain involved in society tend to experience a higher quality of life.
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