Sisters of Providence, Providence Volunteer Ministers and friends at the yearly vigil at the gates of Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia, November 21-23, 2008.
Sister Rita Clare Gerardot hands out materials about Saint Mother Theodore Guerin at the Nov 22, 2008 rally at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia.
Sister Kathleen Desautels helps to organize the crowds for the procession.
Sister Jacquelyn Hoffman approaches the fence blocking the entrance to Fort Benning, the United States Army base which hosts the Western Hemispheric Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), formerly known as the School of the Americas.
Sister Barbara Battista smiles while on duty as a trained peacemaker. The School of the Americas Watch, who hosts the event, goes to great lengths to ensure a spirit of nonviolence throughout.
Sister Adele Beacham places her cross in the gates of Fort Benning.
This young protestor carries a cross bearing the name of Archbishop Oscar Romero. Romero was assassinated in El Salvador in 1980.
Leading the solemn procession is Fr. Roy Bourgeois, founder of SOA Watch (center, wearing stole). He is accompanied by Fr. Jon Sobrino (center right), the only Jesuit priest to survive the 1989 tragedy at the University of Central America in which 6 Jesuit colleagues, their housekeeper and her daughter were murdered by graduates of the School of the Americas.
Sister Rita Clare Gerardot and Providence Volunteer Minister Nicole Engels take part in the roll call. As hundred of victims’ names are sung, the crowd responds with “Presente,” indicating that these persons are not forgotten.
Providence Volunteer Ministers Nicole Engels and Rachel Andrepont carry crosses bearing the names of victims of military violence in Latin America.
Protesters of all ages joined the procession.
After the solemn procession, the crowd breaks into drumming, dancing and music to celebrate the hope for a peaceful future.
The vigil begins with a solemn funeral procession to commemorate the victims of military violence in Latin America and throughout the world.
By the end of the day, the fence to Fort Benning is covered in crosses, photos and flags as a memorial for those who have died.
SOA Watch estimates that over twenty thousand people attended the Sunday event.
The Sisters of Providence and friends march together behind their banner.
Sisters of Providence, Providence Volunteer Ministers, students at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, and friends gather for a photo prior to the Nov 23 solemn vigil.