Carroll citizens, speaking out against the war in the Persian Gulf, added their voices to the mass of about 75,000 people who marched from the Mall to the White House in Washington on Saturday.
And although county representation was small, their enthusiasm was not, participants said.
"Sometimes, you feel you just have to put your body there," said Westminster resident Fran Nyce. "When you're in the midst of thousands of people, it reassures you that you're not crazy, and it gives youthe support you need to keep trying to work for peace."
Hopes forpeace and a new world order with greater diplomacy motivated them tomarch, said Yvonne Small of Taneytown.
"War is not a civilized way to solve problems," said Small, director of the Peace Resource Center in Frederick. "We should have been talking to Saddam Hussein in August, not three days before we declared war on him."
However, unlike demonstrations against other U.S. military actions, marchers protested the use of force while still supporting the troops, Nyce said.
"There were a lot of posters that said, 'We are for the troops, bring them home alive,' " she said. "I am not condemning members of the military who are there. They feel it's their duty.
"But I feel it's my duty to say we need to put an end to it. It's also patriotic to protest."
Both women said economic and trade sanctions against Iraq should have been given more time to work.
"The fact that children were not starving to death in Baghdad does not mean sanctions wouldnot work," said Small. "Sanctions are not about food and medicine, but spare parts and military equipment. I am willing to wait if it would save one human life."
Small also said the Bush administration did not give enough consideration to Hussein's point of view.
"I think as a nation, we didn't listen to the concerns he (Hussein) has," she said. "He certainly feels he's justified, and I don't think we were willing to hear him and try to understand."
The protesters alsocriticized the Pentagon, saying the U.S. military brass has been unwilling to let Americans learn much about Iraqi suffering.
"People are not talking about the damages to the people there," said Nyce. "These are human beings just like us who hurt just as much to see their families killed and maimed."
Small said, "People think this is such a neat little war. The Pentagon is spoon-feeding the press, and we don't see the cities destroyed or see the blood.
"With 2,000 sorties, what do they think Iraq looks like? A little Nintendo game? In a democracy, people have to know to make informed decisions. The Pentagon has effectively gagged the press, and I feel that is unconscionable."
Nyce said Carroll residents will speak out for peace again from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday in front of the Westminster post office.