Enquirer News Update   -   Updated 6:40 p.m.

Tristate reacts to attack on Iraq

By Howard Wilkinson
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Thursday morning, the Tristate - along with the rest of the nation - was trying to absorb the torrent of war news from Iraq and was anxiously awaiting the second round of the U.S. military effort to disarm Saddam Hussein.

At Fountain Square, downtown workers had mixed reactions to the bombing campaign that began unexpectedly Wednesday night. Meanwhile, around city, anti-war protestors were organizing demonstrations against the U.S. action.

"I'm for it," Anderson Township resident Rick Novick said. "Being a Vietnam veteran, I'm all for the support of the troops. I think the action needs to be taken."

John Taylor of Newport agreed.

"I believe we should blow them off the face of the earth," he said. "Forget all the talk. They came over here and attacked us, so we should wipe them out."

Some were not happy to see that President Bush had sparked a war against a country that many believe poses no direct threat to the U.S.

"I think it's sick," said Kim Nelson of Springfield Township. "All the people dying, that doesn't make any sense. All (President Bush) wants is war."

Charles Delagardelle of Pittsburgh said he has traveled in the Middle East and feels badly for the people of Iraq, who will suffer the consequences of war.

"I think it's unfortunate that the U.S. has to go to war with Iraq," Delagardelle said. "I would have liked to have seen some other option work. I think about all the innocent Iraqis that are going to die this time."

At the Archdiocese of Cincinnati headquarters downtown, Archbishop Daniel Pilarcyzk issued a statement saying he prays for an end to the war that will be "accomplished quickly and with minimum bloodshed on our part and on the part of our enemies.''

"We also pray for the innocent who will lose their lives in this conflict,'' Pilarcyzk said, "for the military personnel who will be killed either by hostile or by friendly fire, and for all those who will carry the wounds of this war long after the hostilities have ended.''

The archbishop recalled the words of Pope John Paul II, who said war is "always a defeat for humanity and a tragedy for religion.''

"May the Lord limit the defeat and tragedy, bring us the justice we seek, and lead us to a world in which there will be no war, no defeat, no tragedy,'' the archbishop said.

In Columbus, Ohio Gov. Bob Taft announced he would host a "Ribbons for Freedom'' gathered at noon tomorrow on Columbus' Veterans' Plaza, where Ohioans are asked to bring items to be sent in "care packages'' to military men and women serving overseas.

Ribbons will be distributed at the event that Ohioans can tie to trees as a symbol of support for the troops.

At Xavier University, the Campus Ministry planned to hold a 12:45 p.m. interfaith prayer service today at the Bellermine Chapel.