For more information on Pax Christi USA’s Friday evening program at the SOA, visit the webpage at http://paxchristiusa.org/programs/pax-christi-usa-at-the-soa/.
Tonight, over 400 people joined us in Center Hall at the Columbus Convention Center for Pax Christi USA’s annual gathering at the SOA. This year’s presentation was entitled, “The Danger of Drones and Remote Control Warfare,” with presentations from Bill Quigley and Medea Benjamin. Also joining us as a special guest for the evening was Fr. Melo, a Jesuit priest and radio host, who condemned the SOA graduate-led military coup against the democratically elected Honduran government in 2009 and was a friend to the 6 Jesuits, their co-worker and her daughter, killed by SOA graduates at the University of Central America in 1989.
The evening started with a welcome from Sr. Josie Chrosniak, HM, chair of the Pax Christi USA National Council.
“Pax Christi USA members have been coming to the vigil and action here at the School of the Americas from the very beginning, and for 12 years now, we’ve been gathering like this, on Friday evening, to deepen our witness to peace, to celebrate the gifts of our movement, and to encourage each other for the challenges that lie ahead,” stated Sr. Josie. “Tonight is the anniversary of the martyrdom of the Salvadoran Jesuits, their co-worker and her daughter. In 1989, graduates of the School of the Americas entered the grounds of the University of Central America and executed these brave men and women. We invoke their spirit to be present with us tonight.”
The evening included prayer, music from Joe Jencks and old friend Jon Fromer, presentations from Bill Quigley on the illegality of drone warfare and Medea Benjamin’s stories of the suffering caused by drones and the movement to awaken our nation to the destruction of remote control warfare, a question and answer period with our speakers, and more. Both presentations were videotaped and we hope to get copies or links and make them available to you in the days ahead.
The evening ended in prayer, which included a quote from Jon Sobrino, one of the Jesuits who survived the 1989 massacre. In his book, A Theology of Solidarity, Fr. Sobrino wrote:
“Solidarity is another name for the kind of love that moves feet, hands, hearts, material goods, assistance and sacrifice toward the pain, danger, misfortune, disaster, repression or death of other persons or a whole people. The aim is to share with each other, to help rise up, to become free, to claim the human dignity and justice that all people are entitled to…”