A steady stream of people leaving the base seemed mostly indifferent, but a few waved their agreement with the pro-peace crowd and a handful registered their opposition. However, after a short time, no more cars left the base, suggesting they may have left at another exit. A few state troopers and local police had a light presence and mostly ensure that traffic flowed and people did not wander down the entrance to I-5.
People gatherer to hear a few speeches about halfway through the demonstration,. Ehren Watada's mom, dad, and stepmom gave heartfelt statements in support of their son and his mission. They also expressed gratitude that so many people supported their son. He faces a long road and uncertain road ahead, they said, and they hoped we would stay the course.
Many of the people driving on I'5 south were supportive, waving, honking horns and showing peace signs, some in uniform. Many big rigs showed support, which surprised me out of my stereotypes. There were folks that also were clear in their opposition, some in uniform. It was amazing to watch people driving 60 miles an hour with both hands off the steering wheels to give us the finger. I have no doubt, however, many more soldiers will refuse to participate as time passes and they will be the force that ends this war.
A handful of pro-war people stood on the corner nearest the base, waving an Iraqi flag. Two young men tried to engage them in conversation but it was futile. However, they remained polite and respectful and did not rise to the bait of the steady stream of personal attacks and derision that one of the pro-war people seemed to think was clever.