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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

William Thomas has died at 61

Anti-nuclear activist William Thomas passed away at home on Friday in Washington, D.C. Thomas is best known for setting up a permanent peace vigil outside the White House. For 27 years, he held daily vigils against US militarism and nuclear weapons in Lafayette Park across from the White House. Thomas is survived by his wife, Ellen, who resides at the Peace House. There will be a special memorial for him in Lafayette Park at noon on March 20th, on what would have been his 62nd birthday. Ellen writes: "Please send me emails with your favorite anecdotes about Thomas."

Here's video of Thomas being arrested last November at his vigil in front of the White House:

Local peace activist and friend of this blogger, Robert Rouse, passed on the following statement:

Last Friday morning, William Thomas passed away. ANYONE who has walked in front of the White House since late 1981 has seen Thomas.

William Thomas, dedicated peace and anti-nuke activist, passed away Friday morning at home. He was co-pilot of the 24-hour seven-day a week vigil at the White House for 27 years. He is survived by his wife Ellen and vigil co-pilot Concepcion. I remember Thomas from my high school years early on in his vigil. Millions of people from hundreds of countries visited Thomas as he kept vigiling, warning them of the dangers of nuclear holocaust and the ravages of war. He will be greatly missed by the peace and justice movement.

Rest in PEACE, Thomas. The world became a much more hopeful place during the week of your death. Perhaps you knew that and were comfortable in leaving behind your long vigil. Others will carry on in your absence and ensure that the United States of America once more becomes a shining beacon of peace and hope to the rest of the world.

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