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  • Writer's pictureJane St. Anthony


My arm extended to open the door of Great St Mary’s Church in Cambridge, England—not to pray but to buy another small “Edwardian Lady” notebook in the gift shop. In haste, I’d scurried in front of a dozen people holding signs with messages such as “Never in history has war resulted in lasting peace.”

Acknowledging my crass behavior, I asked the woman closest to the church door what she was protesting.

“The arms fair in London,” she whispered.

A fair conjures up Kewpie dolls, baby pigs, cotton candy in my hair.

An arms fair doesn’t. It’s about annihilation.

Another woman took my arm and pulled me into the group. I protested. My husband was in Great St Mary’s.

“Just thirty minutes,” she said. “Then we sing.”

I couldn’t protest a protest. I stood, silent, as people strolled by. Many took photos. Was I a tourist attraction?!

It was so simple, standing in the sun, with people who were silent.

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