Grief and outrage.
That's what a group of Veterans for Peace activists hope to convey when they take to the streets Sunday in St. Paul.
Leading the somber charge will be Red Wing residents David Harris and Bill Habedank.
"We want to show Americans the cost of war," said Habedank, executive director of VFP's Red Wing chapter. "I don't think Americans have really thought about it much."
The plan is for protesters to march from the Capitol to the Xcel Energy Center, the site of the Republican National Convention. Protesters will march solemnly, speaking only to call out the names of soldiers and civilians killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Tombstone effigies depicting the dead will be carried. Another group will trail, all clad in orange jumpsuits to evoke images of Guantanamo Bay prisoners.
Harris said the march is designed to alarm, not to provoke.
"We want to be annoying enough that we can't be just dismissed," he said.
The march, which is not officially sanctioned by the Veterans for Peace organization, is expected to be a tame prelude to Monday's larger march, which is expected to draw thousands of protesters.
Some groups' actions in Monday's march are expected to be intentionally unpredictable and confrontational.
Harris, 73, said he understands some of the inspiration behind those groups, but doesn't endorse the behavior.
"Our hope is we can set the tone for something that is dignified," he said.
When Harris' march reaches Xcel Center Sunday, most of the group will stop while a bugler plays taps. Some -- including Harris -- will commit acts of civil disobedience act by attempting to cross onto prohibited property.
Harris said he expects few other protesters to join him in the action, which he said historically has shown a more profound effect than other nonviolent protests.
"At a certain point, when you run out of options to be effective, you've got to look for other ways -- and civil disobedience is one," Harris said.
As organizers, Harris and Habedank have mapped out the routes, filed the paperwork and assembled the marchers.
It's a familiar process for Harris, an Air Force veteran who has participated in numerous protests and marches across the country.
Harris said his real concerns are with organizational matters.
"I'm not worried about much other than that," he said.
Habedank, 60, said he'll remain nonviolent. But as an activist, he knows that marches and demonstrations stir many emotions.
"I worry about what other people are going to do," the retired veterinarian said. "I'm know how I'm going to be behave."
If violence becomes imminent, a group called the Minnesota Peace Team is set to intervene. Co-coordinator Katherine Wojtan said she and other members of the peace team will be interspersed along the march route, keeping a sharp eye out for conflict.
The group's aim is not to discourage argument, however -- only violence. Peace team members will physically get between combatants, Wojtan said.
Though committed, the concept is a bit jarring for someone with a sheltered background like her, she said.
"I think my eyes will be opened," said Wojtan, an Apple Valley, Minn., resident.
Harris said so far, he and St. Paul police have gotten off on the right foot. He hopes it stays that way.
"We have to see them as people first, and we want them to see protesters as people first," Harris said.
If his is any example, peace -- not violence -- will prevail Sunday, Wojtan said of Harris' commitment to the movement.
"It feels like it comes from his heart and his caring for one another," she said.