Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Peaceful Memorial

Peaceful Memorial

On March 29th, I visited the Eyes Wide Open Northern California exhibit at the Redding Convention Center. The exhibit was sponsored by the Quaker group American Friends Service Committee, which is part of the War is Not the Answer peace walk.

There are 453 military personnel from California who have been killed in the war in Iraq.
Each pair of boots represents a person, whose name was attached to the boots.

Other activities on Saturday's agenda were the singing of peace songs, a reading of names of the fallen and a candlelight vigil. Additional sponsors were Cascade Action Now!, Humanist Peace Society and Citizens for Responsible Government.

See comments by others (from the newspaper blog) below:

Comments by others:

While I was returning an individual pair of boots back to storage for the night I read a tag with the name, age and hometown of that dead soldier. In silence I thanked him for his sacrifice, and asked that peace be given to those that loved and miss him. Escondido, Riverside, Pacifica, 19 year-old, 22-years old, 20-years old… so young. Others carried boots for fallen kids from Redding and other nearby towns. 453 pairs of boots in all, representing California’s servicemen and women killed in Iraq.

Sad moments were felt by all of the two-dozen or so local people who came to honor those killed in Iraq. Only two-dozen people, out of hundreds, if not thousands, of area residents who could have honored our soldiers by their presence, thanks and prayers. In a town that claims to be so patriotic, so American, so support of our military, why didn’t more people pay tribute? Had shopping to do? Had to go to the kid’s ball game? Too tired after a long week of work? Who can claim they didn’t know the exhibition was there? If that is the case, you can thank our local paper for its persistent policy of omission and slanting of information its corporate board thinks you should and should not hear. Don’t bring attention to the war, don’t cover the protests of the war, and don’t tell us we are spending $720 million a day to kill people, our own children included.

I’m ashamed of Redding and the Record Searchlight. No, I won’t leave, though I’d like to. Instead I’m going to stick around and keep reminding you to wake up and see what the reality of hate, war, killing and ignorance is.

I would have to agree with you. Those that would disagree need only look at the lack of an article here and in the print version of our local paper. Now, we are not only reduced to local news, but local "feel good" news. Let's not look at the tragedy our ignorance and complacency has caused here and around the world. We can be proud of our lack of responsibility. The ongoing occupation of Iraq seems to be off the current political agenda. "Out of sight, out of mind." Multiply the number of our dead troops by a factor of 200 and that would approximate the death we have visited on the innocent women and children of Iraq.


We should not mourn the death of these heroes. We should celebrate that they lived and were willing to volunteer and to risk death to ensure the freedom and liberty of others.

Let's hope there are more of these men and women willing to do the same when we need them again, and we will.

Maybe the low turn out is due to the sponsors unwillingness to face the reality of evil intent in this world. Maybe people don't want to show support for the sponsors.


Lorna said...

How moving, and how sad.

Sarge Charlie said...

no one hates war more than those that have tasted it, please let the death of these young men mean something, not just a way to show disgust with why they died.

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