MICHELE NORRIS, host:
Americans mark the anniversary of the war today with vigils and small demonstrations. In New York, the Granny Peace Brigade staged a knit-in for peace at a Times Square military requirement center, and in Washington, D.C., the protesters numbered in the hundreds.
NPR's Libby Lewis reports.
LIBBY LEWIS: Mick Ulakovic(ph) has a tweed cap and nice shoes. He lives in suburban Dallas. And he flies Boeing 767s for Delta Airlines.
I got to say you don't look like a protester.
Mr. MICK ULAKOVIC (Pilot): I'm not. I like to solve things before they get to this level, but this is five years. How many thousands have died, how many more thousands are going to die? This is wrong. We're spending our nation's wealth and treasures. We're ruining thousands of lives and we're fighting the wrong war.
LEWIS: Ulakovic served in the Air Force in the Reagan years. He says lots of his fellow pilots have gone to Iraq with the Reserves, and he says, many of them don't support the war anymore.
There were students who drove down from Amherst and Harvard. The Code Pink ladies were there. And lots of people in their 20s carrying signs like "Youth aren't cannon fodder."
James Morris came from Tampa, Florida. He said he served in Afghanistan with 82nd Airborne Division for about a year. He said he drove around and walked around in the mountains.
You make it sound almost pleasant.
Mr. JAMES MORRIS (Afghanistan War Veteran): No. It's not pleasant at all, it's just - I try not to get too, like, depressed about it.
LEWIS: Morris said he eventually went AWOL. Colby Dillard was there to confront the protestors outside the Armed Forces Recruitment Center. He said he served in Iraq on the USS Constellation in 2003.
Mr. COLBY DILLARD (U.S Army): What this people don't realize is that want we're doing in Iraq is not about oil, it's not about just random murdering of people. We're there to get the country stable, number one. Number two, get the government set up to where they can provide security for their own people. Those are the only reasons that we're there now.
LEWIS: Dillard said he agreed with the protestors' right to speak out, but he said, he has to speak out, too.
Libby Lewis, NPR News, Washington.
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