Some 30 Hope College students traveled to Washington, D.C., together this past weekend to participate in a peace rally in opposition to war with Iraq.
The rally was held on Saturday, Oct. 26, and included a march around the White House. According to Dr. Jane Dickie, faculty leader of the group, the rally drew a total of approximately 100,000 participants.
"As a Christian, as an individual, as a scholar, as a women's studies minor, and as a citizen of the United States, it is important for me to participate in this historic stand for peace," senior Christina VanRegenmorter of West Olive noted in advance of the event.
"My participation in this protest is an affirmation of my valuing of human life -- even if it is 'foreign' or 'evil,'" she said. "It is also an affirmation of the Christian values of peacemaking and standing up for what one believes is right."
Reflecting on the experience, junior Phillip Waalkes of Raleigh, N.C., noted, "Ideas, philosophy, and discussion are essential to liberal arts education, but nothing can replace direct action in controversial issues."
"Liberal arts students rarely get the opportunity to see the system from the inside, to impact America with direct involvement in democracy," he said as he anticipated the trip. "Regardless of politics, this trip to Washington the educational opportunity of a lifetime."
The Hope students attending were: Leslie Aronson, Anne Baker, Arianna Baker, Kristen Beelen, Ryan Brinks, Andrea Cleary, Kathryn DeHaan, Joshua Egedy, Mona El-Shamaa, Stephen Frey, Nina Healy, Jenna Hoos, Corynne Johnson, Jennifer Jourdan, Tim Kirkman, Kathleen Ludewig, Morgan Machledt, Bethany Martin, L. Brynne Moore, Ashley North, Meredith Oosta, Hannah Reddick, Neil Simons, Sarah Sterling, Joseph Tolton, Christina VanRegenmorter, Phil Waalkes, James Wackerbarth, Jason Yelding and Nicole Yelding. They were joined by two community members as well as by Dickie and her husband Larry.
The Hope group left campus on Friday, Oct. 25, at 8 a.m. and reached Catonsville, Md., Friday evening. They had dinner courtesy of a local Presbyterian church, and then stayed at church members' homes.
They left Washington on Saturday after the rally, and arrived back in Holland on Sunday, Oct. 27.