Kirkland peace vigil remembers area soldiers

About 75 people circled underneath the Marina Park pavilion on the rainy, windy evening of March 19, commemorating the four-year anniversary of the beginning of the war in Iraq. Attendees read the names of the 73 fallen soldiers from Washington state, and according to organizer Donna Schill, "the wind died down enough for our candles to remain lit."

When Schill was researching the war statistics, she said she was surprised at how many soldiers had died from Kirkland, in comparison to other areas with much larger populations. Kirkland has suffered five losses out of a population of 45,000, while Seattle has lost six soldiers out of 573,000 residents. (See

Schill said that a bald eagle made an unexpected appearance, landing only yards away from the gatherers at the beginning of the evening.

"The response was so positive," she said, "that I think we will be doing a vigil on a regular basis."