On March 19, 2003, President George W. Bush launched the invasion of Iraq. Since then, the war has resulted in more than 1,500 U.S. casualties and 16,000 Iraqi casualties, and cost at least $200 billion-but the world is finally safe from those weapons of mass destruction-whew!

Several Portland groups are sponsoring events to mark the anniversary of the invasion.

Friday, March 18

Portland Peaceful Response Coalition will hold its weekly rally to express opposition to ongoing conflict in Iraq. Pioneer Square, Southwest Broadway and Yamhill Street. 5 pm. For more info, call 344-5078 or visit www.pprc-news.org.

Saturday, March 19

PPRC, in collaboration with several other groups, holds a teach-in covering Middle Eastern and U.S. politics. A march will follow, leaving from the Urban Center Plaza at 2 pm. Portland State University Campus Ministry/Koinonia House, 633 SW Montgomery St., 10 am. For more info, call 236-3065 or visit www.pprc-news.org.

Kim Stafford will read work by his late father, William Stafford, a U.S. poet laureate and conscientious objector. Stafford will be joined by veterans and military family members. First Unitarian Church, 1011 SW 12th Ave. 7:30 pm. $5-$15 donation requested. For more info call 788-7311 or see www.livingearthgatherings.org.

Sunday, March 20

An interfaith memorial service and procession will honor and remember those killed in the conflict. Called Arlington Northwest, the event will feature symbolic gravemarkers. First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, 1137 SW Broadway. 2 pm. For more info call 650-4447 or go to www.cthgathering.org.