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The beautiful video and story that follow represent yet another testament to the powerful work Veterans for Peace continues to do across America. For some, service to country never ends.

This from the Lowell Sun:

An area veterans group pledged to fill every seat in Babylon, a downtown Iraqi restaurant where owners feared hatred drove a man to throw a 20-pound rock through a window last Wednesday.

Instead, those veterans filled every seat twice.


Owner Leyla Al-Zubaydi and her father Ahmed Al-Zubaidi said their family was terrified the vandalism was fueled by hate. Ahmed Al-Zubaidi said the incident drove his wife to tears, and prompted her to question whether the family should close the restaurant. The show of support from veterans and the community drove her to tears of joy last night, he said.

"This solidarity gives us the courage to stand," said Al-Zubaidi. "There is no more fear in my heart because there are such nice people behind us."

The tiny restaurant, which only seats 50, was filled many times over by the initiative, which you can see for yourself in this beautiful video:

While the authorities in Lowell seem to think the crime was not hate related – the man detained claims he didn't know anything about the restaurant – the veterans who came to this small business owner's defense think otherwise.

However, what matters isn't the motive. What matters is the response.

This is the power of community. The power of numbers. The power of a society trying to transform itself.

Follow me on Twitter @David_EHG

Originally posted to David Harris-Gershon (The Troubadour) on Wed Jan 11, 2012 at 05:51 PM PST.

Also republished by Barriers and Bridges, Massachusetts Kosmopolitans, DKOMA, Protest Music, Writing by David Harris Gershon, Military Community Members of Daily Kos, and Street Prophets .

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