Grandmothers came to Colonie Center Sunday — not to shop, but to stress love over war.
That was the message of about 20 “Grannies for Peace” during a vigil at the mall. Many carried placards that said “More Peace. Less Killing” and “War Breaks Our Hearts.”
“We’re wearing broken hearts because our hearts break for those grandmothers who have lost young men and women to war,” said Mabel Leon of Schenectady.
This was the fifth year for the Grannies for Peace event, which is a project of a larger group called Women Against War.
Leon said war does not solve human problems and causes harm to innocent women and children.
Others agreed with that assessment. “None of us are secure as long as the world is at war,” said Sue Clark of Troy. She added that instead of war, the focus should be on helping people in Afghanistan and Iraq build schools and medical facilities.
Maureen Aumand of Colonie said more emphasis should be placed on earning the support of these countries.
“The solution lies in reconstruction and the support of Afghan people and Iraqi people as they try to build a civil society.”
Drivers honked horns in support of the group’s message. After standing outside at the intersection of Wolf Road and Central Avenue for about a half hour, the group headed inside to the mall and sang “Give Peace a Chance” as they walked two by two.
Pat Beetle of Castleton said the United States needs to cut its military budget and focus on making sure people have enough jobs, food and shelter. “The amount of money we spend on the military is horrendous. It’s like we want to be an empire and we’re not taking care of people at home.”
Barbara Spring of Delmar brought her 6-year-old grandson Jack to the event. “War hurts people,” Jack said.
Even a few non-grandmothers participated, like Dave Mac-Kercher of Queensbury, who said people need to be more respectful of others.
“Each person is different and they have their own ideals and just communicate with one another.”