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Iraq and Afghanistan was unveiled yesterday at the Old North Church. GRAPHIC

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Iraq and Afghanistan was unveiled yesterday at the Old North Church.
GRAPHIC: A DAY OF REMEMBRANCE: Member of the `Old Dorchester Post 65' stand and salute, above, as the national anthem is played at a Memorial Day ceremony at Dorchester's Cedar Grove Cemetary. At left, little MaryEllen Tevnan kisses the grave of her grandfather, who was a World War II veteran. Below, marchers make their way down Garden Street during Cambridge's Memorial Day Parade. STAFF PHOTOS BY MARK GARFINKEL, ABOVE AND LEFT; AND ANGELA ROWLINGS, BELOW.
LOAD-DATE: May 31, 2005

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May 31, 2005 Tuesday

LENGTH: 59 words
HEADLINE: Paying tribute to Iraqi civilian deaths (photo caption only)

Bassist Blake Newman of Cambridge and drummer Eric Paull of Brighton join about 70 musicians in `Collateral Damage Noted' at Boston City Hall Plaza yesterday, protesting the estimated 25,000 Iraqi civilians killed in the war. They sounded a high note for each child killed, a medium note for a woman and a low note for a man. STAFF PHOTO BY ANGELA ROWLINGS
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The Boston Herald
May 30, 2005 Monday

LENGTH: 341 words
HEADLINE: Editorial;

Armed conflicts waning

The New Republic has called attention to a startling conclusion of research at the University of Maryland: Armed conflicts are decreasing.

This applies to wars between countries, civil wars, insurgencies and other clashes. The third ``Peace and Conflict'' report from the university's Center for International Development and Conflict Management totaled these at 51 in 1991, the post-World War II peak, but 20 in 2004. The extent and destructiveness of these fights was rated on the center's index at 179 in 1991, another peak, and 65 last year.

It is a surprise. Twenty-four hour news channels are a relatively new phenomena that constantly call attention to particular conflicts like the current war in Iraq and the civil war in Sudan, but rarely stress the conflicts that are ending.

Some reasons given for these heartening numbers are the disappearance of the Communist bloc, the drying up of sources of important arms, expansion of United Nations and other peacekeeping missions, the greater involvement of some countries in the affairs of neighbors (as Poland acted in Ukraine recently), growing abilities of formerly incompetent governments, rising international trade and the addition of 80 countries to the ranks of democracies in the last 20 years.

We find ourselves resisting the magazine's speculations on a possible end to war. The trend is far too young for conclusions.

The world has seen optimism before. In 1914, many high-minded people believed a large war economically impossible for all the great powers. In 1913, world trade as a share of world GDP reached a peak. In 1914, the Guns of August opened the bloodletting that killed 8 million soldiers in four years. World trade didn't recover its relative importance until the 1990s.

As long as groups are willing to send fanatics on suicide missions and to fly airplanes into office buildings, as long as nations claim things they don't have as China claims Taiwan, war is a possibility. The Romans had the right policy: Si vis pace, para bellum - If you want peace, prepare for war.
LOAD-DATE: May 30, 2005

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May 30, 2005 Monday

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BYLINE: By Jessica Heslam

Before the holiday barbecues, legions of Bay Staters lined parade routes throughout the region yesterday to pay tribute to veterans, soldiers and their families.

American flags and balloons lined the streets of Somerville as the annual Memorial Day parade made its way through the city yesterday.

More parades will march through other towns today.

``We love our city. We love our country,'' said Karen Lennon, 58, who teared up at the memory of her father, a World War II vet. ``He always marched in this parade. We're so proud to live here all our lives.''

Her childhood friend, Margaret ``Peggy'' Cowles, said the duo - decked out in red, white and blue - haven't miss the parade, rain or shine, in more than 50 years. Yesterday's took place on a brilliant afternoon, before gray clouds and thunder rolled in.

``If it weren't for our veterans, we wouldn't be sitting here,'' Cowles said.

Woody Hayes, a 70-year-old Korean War veteran, said it's important to honor those who died serving their country.

``To me, it's a memorial for the deceased veterans,'' he said, adding it's important to show support for the families of soldiers now overseas. ``Vets care for one another. We're like a big family.''

Cambridge, Gloucester, Dorchester and other cities and towns plan to hold parades today.

A memorial honoring American soldiers and civilians killed in Afghanistan and Iraq will be unveiled at 10 a.m. today at the Old North Church in the North End.

At City Hall Plaza today, musicians plan to perform at 11 a.m. as a remembrance to Iraqi civilians killed in their country during the ``current conflict.''
GRAPHIC: PATRIOTISM: Jeff Wairi, 11, of Somerville, above, shows his true colors during yesterday's Memorial Day parade in Somerville. At right, Russell Moscone of Quincy restores the area around his brother-in-law's grave at Mount Wollaston Cemetery in Quincy. His brother-in-law was Jody F. Miller, a Vietnam veteran who served in the Army. Staff photos by Stuart Cahill, above; and Matthew West.
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May 30, 2005 Monday

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HEADLINE: Marine `wanted to make a difference'
BYLINE: By Tom Farmer

Knocked on his back by a burst of gunfire that hammered the body armor covering his chest in November in Fallujah, Marine Lance Cpl. Dimitrios Gavriel gave his corporal the thumbs-up and continued to cover the room where his attacker lay waiting.

Within minutes, the 29-year-old Gavriel would be dead, killed by more bullets and a grenade tossed by the Iraqi insurgent who would also draw his last breath that day.

A fiercely loyal and patriotic first-generation Greek-American, he gave up a lucrative career on Wall Street to join the Marines after losing five friends on Sept. 11. Gavriel didn't have to be in Fallujah when he died Nov. 19. But his letters and e-mails now clearly show that the Haverhill man was determined to serve his country despite the pleadings of his family and friends to stay out of harm's way.

``He was tormented over trying to please us and living up to the promise he had made to himself on 9/11,'' said Gavriel's father, Chris. ``He didn't want to upset us but he knew if he didn't do this he would regret it years from now.''

On their first Memorial Day since losing their son to the harrowing battle of Fallujah, Chris and Penelope Gavriel have learned much more about why their son rejected the riches of Wall Street to carry an M249 Squad Automatic Weapon and about how he was killed in a small house by a man who also chose to give his life for his country.

Poring over words penned by their son, a 1997 Brown University graduate, the Gavriels concluded there was nothing anyone could have done to prevent him from joining the Marines, where most recruits were 10 years his junior.

``He bore deep into his heart, knowing this torment, which stood as the ultimate barrier to so many, was really the threshold to promises he had made to himself during a time that had long passed,'' Gavriel had written about his agonizing decisionto join the Marines.

Trying to put his parents and younger sister, Christina, at ease, Gavriel told his family he was bound to sit behind a computer with an intelligence unit. In reality, he had signed up to be a rifleman - a grunt - the most dangerous job in the Marines. The Marines had actually rejected Gavriel when he first tried to join because of injuries he had suffered as a champion heavyweight wrestler at Brown and Timberlane Regional High School in Plaistow, N.H.

Unwilling to take no for an answer, he worked out fanatically, lost 40 pounds and was accepted for boot camp, where, dismayed with the scandals enveloping Wall Street, he hoped to hone his leadership skills and craft his future legacy after a four-year enlistment.

``He asked what type of jobs would have the most leadership opportunity or that type of responsibility and I told him infantry,'' said Staff Sgt. Joshua Speigel, Gavriel's recruiter. ``You have 18- or 19-year-olds making life or death decisions and that type of leadership is the most important in the Marine Corps.''

Reporting to Parris Island in October 2003, the Marine officers and drill instructors quickly realized that Gavriel was not their average recruit. Capt. Roger Mahar said he tried to steer Gavriel toward becoming an officer but he was rejected because of five lines tattooed on his forearm in honor of his friends killed on 9/11. ``You could tell he was older and more mature,'' said Mahar. ``From head to toe he was in shape and he had a serious attitude. He wasn't one of those scared or lost kids we get down here.''

Deployed to Iraq in June, Gavriel quickly developed the reputation as a warrior who would do anything for his fellow Marines. Wounded by grenade fragments a week before he died that earned him the first of two Purple Hearts, Gavriel left the hospital when he found out his unit was in for more bitter fighting in Fallujah.

Chris Gavriel said he will never know if his son might have been pulled away from death had he not given the thumbs-up just like he had the first time he was wounded. ``His love of country was greater than his love for his own life and the love of his loved ones,'' said his father. ``He humbled himself to be a grunt yet never lost his resolve. I will never second-guess his sacrifice even though I feel his tremendous loss.''

A soldier's stories

Excerpts from letters and e-mails written by Lance Cpl. Dimitrios Gavriel before he was killed in Iraq.

``So how, after all this, did a guy like me end up in Iraq? The answer is pretty simple when I look to the young Marines at my right and left. I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to do something, no, give something, to deserve all the good things we, as Americans, enjoy and sometimes take for granted as we move through the years of the good lives we lead under the safety and freedom of our flag.''

``Everyone lost something on that terrible day of 9/11. I lost my close friends, brothers you might say. Guys I grew up with, teammates, pals, mentors and confidants. I watched the towers fall, helpless, from a block away in the streets of New York and made a promise before God that I would do all I could to keep something like this from happening again.''

``No man can know just exactly how much his effort has changed the world out here, but together we have chased much evil away from power and have shown those who, for one reason or another, hate our way of life, that we are a nation of people who refuse to live under the threat of terror.''

``Had to sprint over a 200-yard pontoon bridge after an eight-hour patrol to clear a section of an island in the Euphrates where we took mortar fire. By the time I reached the far side I couldn't feel my legs. Felt like a knife was in my back from the weight of the armor vest and 600 rounds bolted to it. Dehydrated and suffering from heat exhaustion, we then proceeded to halt traffic and move from house to house in search of the mortar system. I was tripping over (expletive) goats, chickens, rolling ankles and watching other Marines just plain faint. Fun stuff. This is the kind of stuff that makes for good memories, better stories - but sucks to live through.''

``We should see the good action many of us have been wanting to sink our teeth into, and not the on-off (expletive) we've been seeing the last few months. I often catch myself waffling from one side to the other when it comes down to wanting to go through with it, but in the end, it isn't my choice and whatever is going to happen, will happen.''
GRAPHIC: MEMORIES: Chris and Penelope Gavriel hold a photo of their son, Dimitrios, who was killed in action in Iraq on Nov. 19. Staff photo by Jon Hill
LOAD-DATE: May 30, 2005

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May 30, 2005 Monday

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HEADLINE: Editorial;

We honor them with our thoughts

It took a 9-year-old from Framingham and his new best friend, back from his second tour of duty in Iraq, to remind us about the real meaning of this Memorial Day.

Collin Kelly had this terrific idea to place just a couple of marigolds on the graves of veterans buried in Edgell Grove Cemetery in time for Memorial Day. People were touched, eager to aid the cause.

Then, of course, he ran headlong into bureaucrats (the cemetery is owned by the town), who insisted, as Trustee vice chairman Barbara Ford did, ``You don't just go into a cemetery and place flowers on graves that belong to somebody else.''

Well, many of the graves Collin wanted to decorate were those of soldiers who had died in the Revolutionary War and in the Civil War (the war which actually began the tradition of Memorial Day). He rightly assumed that some of those war heroes might not have families around to decorate their graves.

The Cemetery Commission eventually relented (even fools have their limits) and Collin got some help from Marine Cpl. John Grigg, 23, a veteran of the second battle of Fallujah, and from the Natick American Legion, which will help provide the flowers - red geraniums because that, Grigg says, is what women placed near the bodies of those killed on Civil War battlefields.

Why is this important? Why is this news?

Because for too long Memorial Day has been more about backyard barbeques than about honoring those who died in wars current or long ago. And because we need to remember - for them and for us, too. We need to remember not just at ceremonies near the glorious monuments we erect in historic places, but in simple ways, too.

USA Today reminded us of two local men who choose to remember those killed in Afghanistan and in Iraq with simple but heartfelt memorials of their own creation. Ed Hardy, a retired teacher from Duxbury, tied yellow ribbons around trees, each bearing the name of a military man or woman killed during the current conflict.

Chris Johnson is credited with the memorial of baseballs at the edge of a Little League ballfield in Whitman, each with name of a service member killed in Iraq.

We cannot repay the sacrifice of those now lost to us. We can only honor them by keeping them in our thoughts.
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May 30, 2005 Monday

LENGTH: 637 words

It's zilch for Zooma Tour: Jam band fest scrubbed

The Zooma Tour starring Phish frontman Trey Anastasio, Ben Harper, Jurassic 5, Gomez, Galactic and many others has been scrubbed. Organized by the producers of the jam-band-heavy Bonnaroo Festival in Tennessee, this smaller, road-show version of Bonnaroo was scheduled to come to the Tweeter Center on July 2. Friday the producers announced the entire tour's cancellation in a vaguely worded statement: ``The Zooma Tour was conceived to provide fans with an exceptional musical and entertainment experience. Due to unforeseen circumstances, it has become clear that it would not be possible to provide that experience at the level initially envisioned. Rather than go forward with a tour that falls short of what was conceived, everyone involved has mutually agreed that it is best to cancel the tour altogether.'' Ticket refunds are available at point of purchase. - LARRY KATZ

One-cannon salute for Thompson

Organizers of a memorial for Hunter S. Thompson plan to erect a 150-foot structure - courtesy of Johnny Depp - to shoot the gonzo journalist's ashes onto his Aspen, Colo.,-area ranch.

Friends and acquaintances gathered Thursday to discuss the Aug. 20 invitation-only service, which will be six months after Thompson shot himself in his Woody Creek home.

Jon Equis, the event producer working with Thompson's family, said the tower will be 12 feet wide at the base and 8 feet wide at the top, where a cannon will be placed.

Depp, who portrayed the author in the movie version of Thompson's book ``Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,'' will pay for the tower, designed to resemble Thompson's ``gonzo fist'' emblem.

As Thompson requested, his ashes will be shot out of the cannon onto his property.

Hank magic, BBQ included

Chords and Discourse, a monthly ``VH1 Storytellers''-style music and chat night, pays tribute this Thursday to that great country pop troubadour Hank Williams. Now taking place in O'Briens the first Thursday of every month, this acoustic performance series features local and national musicians recalling inspirational musical icons. Williams' magic will be evoked in song and story by Dropkick Murphys chanteuse Stephanie Dougherty, Texas Bob (Ragged Old Flag), Zack Shedd (Satan's Teardrops) and others. The cover is $8, which includes a barbecue buffet from 8 to 9 p.m., with the action starting soon after. O'Briens is located at 3 Harvard Ave., Allston. Call 617-782-6245 or go to - LINDA LABAN

`Nightline' roll call

ABC will devote tonight's entire ``Nightline'' broadcast to a roll call of U.S. war dead, nearly a year after some political conservatives condemned a similar tribute as anti-war propaganda, the network said.

As he did last year, ``Nightline'' host Ted Koppel will recite the names of more than 900 American servicemen and women killed in

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