I met Dianna in the mid-1990s when I started working with Marie Dennis at the Maryknoll Justice and Peace office (now the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns.) At that time, I had already spent a few years around people of faith who were political activists, who often chose to engage in civil disobedience and arrest scenarios to express their positions and promote their causes. I never thought I would ever join in such an action -- I could not imagine choosing to risk arrest. But, in May 1996, during a dinner at the Maryknoll house on 16th Street here in DC, when Marie Dennis shared that Dianna's supporters had decided that a massive civil disobedience was being organized in order to support Dianna and her campaign to expose the truth about the torture she suffered in Guatemala, I immediately knew I was willing to participate. Dianna had exhibited such grace and dignity, I wanted to express my support for her. So I was one of about 200 people who were arrested at the White House over the course of a week in mid-May 1996, and I discovered some freedom in participating in that level of activism.
In addition to the civil disobedience action, for several weeks in April 1996, folks took turns spending the night with Dianna as she held her vigil in Lafayette Park -- I only joined her one night (some folks spent the night several times). We walked up to the Hilton on 16th Street to wash our faces and brush our teeth before settling in for the night. Lucky for me I didn't have to beat off the rats in the park which other folks were faced with. I remember Reg McKillip and Anne Curtis brought folding lounge chairs to sit with us for a few hours before they headed home for the evening.
For years I have seen Dianna at the Assisi community or at receptions or at demonstrations over the years, sharing her warm smile and gentle humor. I will miss her so much.