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Martin Sheen speaks to Crawford protesters, prays rosary to fallen GIs

RAW STORY

Martin Sheen spoke to protesters in Crawford, Texas, Sunday evening, praying the rosary with anti-war mother Cindy Sheehan in memoriam of fallen soldiers in Iraq. RAW STORY has transcribed Sheen's remarks; more about his visit can be read at the Lone Star Iconoclast. You can hear the audio of his speech here, and listen to Raw Radio's Brad Show live broadcast from Crawford today at BradShow.com.

Martin Sheen: Itís about time I showed up! (Unintelligible remark about the President of the United States.) I donít need to tell you how many people are watching whatís happening here on this, what can only be called sacred ground. All over the country, people are watching, thereís a great thaw, thereís a great thaw! And many of -- many of us who have been silent far too long have begun to get behind these women being led by Cindy Sheehan. So, so very proud to be here and so, so grateful to all of you for standing with her for vigiling. It is in the old Irish Tradition that goes back centuries that when you had a rift with the landlord or an authority, you vigiled in front of their homes until they came out and confronted you. And thatís what this is all about in that that great tradition.

I always enjoy saying this at these kind of events, but there really is no kind of event like this, but ... the bottom line is, I think you know what I do for a living, but this is what I do to stay alive. Haha .. I had not really anticipated making any statement or, um speech at this time. We wanted to come up and prepare the stage for our memorial Rosary which is going to begin in just a few minutes.

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For those of you who are not uh familiar with the Rosary, itís a repetitive kind of prayer, that features the Hail Mary. I think any of you that watch the NFL or college football have heard of the Hail Mary. Well itís a little more than what itís thought to be, and itís a very sacred prayer. And we will intone this prayer here this night and Cindy will read the names of 50 chosen fallen with each bead. And at the end of each decade we will sing a hymn, and these good people, these wonderful women are going to sing.

And we tried to print as many pages with the hymns on them, so if you are lucky enough to have one please share it with the others, but I think that many of you will know the hymns and follow along. It is a very sacred prayer, the Rosary.

When I spoke for the first time with Cindy some few weeks ago, when I was first planning to come here, she told me she was Catholic and that Casey was a very devout Catholic and very, very devoted to the Holy Mother. And when his remains were sent home, there were 11 Rosaries found in his belongings and so I suggested we do the Rosary to honor him and his fallen comrades. So thatís really what this prayer service is all about.

Iím just going to ask, uh, this is Kathleen Rumpf, one of my heroes. The last time I saw Kathleen, well, the time before Ė I just saw her in New York at the Catholic Worker, she was a personal friend of Dorothy Day, who worked for many years at the Catholic Worker in New York City. She is a peace advocate Ė has done long stretches in jail Ė I think we met in jail if Iím not mistaken! I was visiting, of course.

Kathleen Rumpf: (Joking) He was just off probation. (Laughter)

MS: The last time I saw this dear woman in Texas, we were holding a vigil in Fort Worth, where she was being released for a peace action just a few years ago. So, welcome back to Texas, Kathleen Rumpf! Kathleen has got a wonderful voice and has assembled these wonderful singers. Sheís going to lead you now in a practice session with all the hymns. And just do a first verse and the chorus, ok Ė so, ďBe Now Ruled I Pray YouĒ by Kathleen Rumpf and these wonderful singers.

KR: For those who donít have the sheets .. we have 5 more, you can just pass them down Ö

BF: Youíre listening to Live Coverage of Martin Sheen speaking to the crowd here of supporters for Cindy Sheehan at Camp Casey on The Brad Show via RAW Radio, I believe we are exclusively covering this one for you right now, about to lead a Prayer Service where Martin Sheen and others will speak Ö

Originally published on Monday August 29, 2005.

 


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