Heartsickness. This is what brought eight women together to create Friday’s “Lights for Liberty” Rally in Peterborough. Children are being kept separated from their families and in inhumane conditions.

If you are heartsick, join us. If you are outraged, join us. If you have cried, join us. If you have prayed, join us. If you feel helpless, join us. If you’ve written letters, called, sent emails, join us.

We are the Peterborough Lights for Liberty Coalition, and we are sick at heart.

The news broke June 20: Deplorable conditions at U.S. border detention camps. We vented. We read articles. We watched the interviews in horror. We could not, however, look away.

None of us should look away.

Warren Binford is a professor who was allowed into several detention camps. Afterward, she was allowed to tell what she saw and heard directly from the children.

These are just some of the findings: overcrowding; lack of proper sanitary facilities; flu and lice spreading; inadequate food; lack of medical care, supervision and beds; punishment for speaking out. One child spoke of being hit by a guard.

From President Trump? Crickets. Political posturing. From Congress? A promise to “investigate further.”

Meanwhile, children die. Children are traumatized.

We cannot look away.

A headline in The New York Times: “Children Shouldn’t Be Dying at the Border.”

Has it come to this? A newspaper must state the blatantly, morally obvious?

These children are pawns in a grown-up game.

From that New York Times editorial: “[Trump has been] dreaming up schemes to torment these people in the perverse notion that this will deter others from trying to reach the United States.”

Denying a child — any child — medical care is not moral. Removing a child from her parents is not moral. Caging a child is not moral.

We cannot look away.

If you agree, join us Friday, July 12, at 5:30 p.m. at the Peterborough Town House.

CHRISTINE HALVORSON SHELDON

29 Concord St.

Peterborough

(Also: Julie Zimmer, Ann Latham, Karen Hatcher, Marie Cassady, Sarah Steinberg Heller, Kathy Anderson and Kate Coon)