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Bells toll a mournful milestone: 2,500 dead in Iraq

New York, June 15, 2006 It was a milestone no one wanted to see.

The Pentagon announced today that the 2,500th U.S. military volunteer was killed in the Iraq War.

Next week-end, June 24-25, 2006, thousands of people of faith have told, the NCC's online community of faith, that they plan to ring bells, especially the bells of their houses of worship, to honor the American dead and the thousands of innocents who have lost their lives.

"This is a tragedy that shouldn't have happened," said NCC General Secretary Bob Edgar. "These young men and women who paid the ultimate price of their government's call to arms will be mourned by everyone. And across America, tens of thousands mothers, fathers, spouses, siblings, children and friends bear a burden of grief we can scarcely imagine."

"The bells will toll as a call to prayer," said Faithful America director Vince Isner. "They will toll as a tribute to the fallen and as a plea to the U.S. government to stop this war."

The vision, said Isner, is that "bells inside and outside houses of worship from coast to coast will ring in Remembrance. For those without bells, organ chimes will peal, candles will illuminate sanctuaries across the nation as we remember all who have fallen in this tragic war."

"Ring in Remembrance" is a joint effort by and DemocracyRising.US, an organization founded by consumer advocate and erstwhile presidential candidate Ralph Nader.

"The U.S. corporate and military forces will end up pulling out of Iraq," Nader said. "The question is when? Months? Years? Decades? After how many more preventable deaths, debilitating injuries and diseases? After how much destruction? That's up to us. Together we can end the occupation and bring the troops home safely."


Contact: NCC News: Philip E. Jenks, 212-870-2228


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