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As Dean Sam Lloyd welcomed us to the Christian Peace Witness for Iraq service at the Washington National Cathedral, he began by saying that he had just heard the most amazing story. He told us of four people from Spokane, Washington, who were traveling to the Witness when they had an accident in Pennsylvania as their car hit a patch of ice and skidded into a truck. Fortunately, no one was hurt, and after having the car towed away, they hitchhiked the rest of the way to Washington, D.C.

It turned out that the four travelers mentioned were students from Whitworth College. They joined the service and march, and were then arrested with us, praying in front of the White House. One of the students, Zach Dahmen, told The Whitworthian student newspaper,

By participating in the movement, we wanted to show people that there’s a different face to Christianity. Not all Christians support the war. It’s not God-ordained … I’m pro-life, and so I don’t support the killing that’s going on in Iraq. As Christians, we can’t be hypocritical.

The Presbyterian News Service told more of the story.

Nicola Crawford, a student at Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)-related Whitworth College in Spokane, WA, says that when she got an e-mail earlier this year about the March 16 Christian Peace Witness for Iraq, she “decided it’s something I believe in.”

And that’s about all it took to convince her and a couple of other Whitworth
students, Zach Dahmen and Michael Vander Giessen, to commit to driving 2,700
miles to Washington, D.C., the week before mid-term exams. They hooked up with Eric Colby, a 2006 graduate of the college now working as youth director at Spokane’s Knox Presbyterian Church, who offered his 2001 Toyota Camry for the cross-country trip.

For their persistence and determination, we thank and applaud the “four from Spokane.”

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