What started as a peaceful march by more than 100 sign- waving antiwar demonstrators quickly heated up after a group of protesters refused to move away from the stage and onto a grassy area designated by police. After several warnings, police lined up shoulder to shoulder, shoving some members of the group back behind jersey barriers and arresting others who refused to budge.
"They are just ignorant, and they don't know what they are doing," said Brigit Smith, whose husband, Sergeant First Class Paul Smith of Tampa, was killed in Iraq in April 2003. He was the first soldier awarded the Medal of Honor in the Iraq war for his courage in the Battle of Bagdad Airport. The couple's 11-year-old son, David, led the Pledge of Allegiance yesterday afternoon to a backdrop of boos and sneers.
Cambridge has been a city known for its fierce liberalism and antiwar protests. But Cambridge Common was the site where 230 years ago many servicemen came together when the Continental Congress formally established the Army, organizers pointed out. On July 3, 1775, General George Washington arrived on Cambridge Common and took command of the newly formed Continental Army.