Anti-War Protest Includes 'Hanging' of US Soldier

By Susan Jones | July 7, 2008 | 8:22 PM EDT

( - A couple who hanged a U.S. soldier in effigy outside their home is the talk of Sacramento, most of it unflattering.

Conservative radio host Mark Williams of KFBK-Sacramento, in conjunction with the group Move America Forward, is organizing a candlelight vigil on Tuesday night to support U.S. troops and protest the anti-war display outside the home of Steve and Virginia Pearcy.

The anti-war display includes a "stuffed" soldier hanging from the eaves of the house along with a sign that reads, "Bush Lied, I Died." A Palestinian flag is draped in one window of the home; and an Iraqi flag hangs in another window.

This is second time the Pearcys have hanged a U.S. soldier in effigy, Move America Forward said. The first soldier held a sign reading, "Your Tax Dollars at Work," but that "soldier" was ripped down last week.

"There are those who will stoop to any level to bring attention to a hateful agenda that undermines our heroic men and women in the armed forces," said Move America Forward Co-Chair Melanie Morgan.

"While the families of men and women serving in our armed forces are praying for their safety, they have to tolerate this cruel display. But those who support our troops and their brave fight against the threats of terrorism also enjoy the right to free speech, and we will exercise that right," Morgan added.

The Sacramento Bee quoted the Pearcys as saying they consider the display patriotic. They call it "political protest art," and they note that the First Amendment is intended to protect unpopular speech -- because that's what needs protecting.

The newspaper said the Pearcys, both lawyers, are known for displaying political signs at their Sacramento home, where they live part time.

"Steve and Virginia Pearcy have shown the true colors of the 'Blame America First' movement," said Howard Kaloogian, Move America Forward's other co-chairman.

"They are not sympathetic to the struggles our soldiers face, but instead sympathize with those who threaten America's interests."

All Americans want the troops to come home safely, Kaloogian said. "The difference is that those of us who support our troops and their mission want to see them come home victorious, which is obviously not the desire of Mr.and Mrs. Pearcy."

Neighbors on either side of the Pearcys are flying American flags, Move America Forward noted.

Move America Forward says it was founded last year to support U.S. troops.