Peace march organizers detail Iraq war's toll on Western Massachusetts' communities

NPP Pressroom

The Republican
Ken Ross

WESTFIELD - The war in Iraq has cost this country more than several thousand lives, according to organizers of a peace march that took place from Westfield to Holyoke today. ??It has cost the country billions of dollars that could have been spent on services like health care and education or affordable housing for veterans. ??"We want to draw attention again to the war and the direct effect to the economic impact on Western Massachusetts," Barbara McGovern of Westfield said. The war has cost Westfield taxpayers $22.3 million, according to figures compiled by the National Priorities Project, an organization that analyzes the national budget and provides theoretically figures. As for Holyoke, the cost of America's involvement in Iraq has been $14.9 million. ??McGovern was one of the organizers of today's Walk for Peace, which began outside Barnes Air National Guard Base in Westfield and finished 6 miles later at the Soldiers Home in Holyoke, where marchers planned to give hand-made flowers to veterans there. ??"It's a supportive walk," McGovern said. "We're walking to call attention to all the veteran issues and issues of war." ?Including McGovern, four people began the walk in Westfield. McGovern said she hoped to have more walkers join them along the route. ??More details in The Republican tomorrow.