BUFFALO, N.Y. — One of the three “Bring Them Home Now” bus tours that started in Crawford, Texas, Aug. 31, when Cindy Sheehan and supporters closed up camp, stopped here Sept. 12. Members of Military Families Speak Out, Veterans for Peace, Gold Star Families for Peace and Iraq Veterans Against the War are traveling in caravans across the U.S., speaking out against the Iraq war and building support for a massive antiwar rally in Washington, D.C., Sept. 24, and a day congressional lobbying, Sept. 26.

In Lafayette Square on Main Street in downtown Buffalo, a daylong encampment was set up, which included rows of white crosses and empty pairs of combat boots representing soldiers who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. Drivers honked their horns in support of the encampment as they passed by.

Members of the tour visited congressional representatives’ offices to urge them to support an end to the war.

At an evening rally, Mike Ferner, a member of Veterans for Peace from Toledo, Ohio, spoke about his experience as a Navy medic in Vietnam working in hospital psychiatric wards. He has seen the terrible cost of war, he said, in “human lives that come back in pieces, both physically and mentally.”

Al Zappala, a member of Gold Star Families for Peace from Philadelphia, told the crowd about his son, Sherwood Baker, who joined the National Guard thinking he was going to serve his country in emergencies. Instead he was killed in Iraq.

Citing Hurricane Katrina, Zappala asked, “How many lives would have been saved if the Louisiana Guard had been home?” He added, “The U.S. government cares nothing about poor and working-class people.”

Lisa Fithian from United for Peace and Justice urged everyone to come to Washington, D.C., for the rally on Sept. 24 and to tell their congressional representative to “end the war now, bring the troops home and treat them fairly when they get here.”

Cody Comacho, a member of Iraq Veterans against the War, read the names of soldiers from the Buffalo area who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. The rally ended with a candlelight vigil and the singing of “Amazing Grace.”

Before arriving in Buffalo, the Bring Them Home Now Tour visited Chicago, Toledo and Detroit, where they spoke at high schools, community colleges, church services and rallies. From Buffalo they are headed to Albany, N.Y., with whistle stops in Rochester and Syracuse.