Tuesday, March 17, 2009

War is Not Healthy - Year 6

2,190 days at war in Iraq - at least 533 to go. Perhaps 1,020 still ahead, depending on how you view the stationing of "support troops" in Iraq until the end of 2011. I slipped into a booth in a bagel shop Sunday morning, barely out of my PJs and reveling in the naughty feeling a hookey day from church allows. I had my newspaper, a cup of hot coffee, and my favorite Sunday news companion. It was all good. Good, at least, until I realized it was that Sunday. The one before the anniversary of the U.S. invasion in Iraq. The one on which every soldier from my part of Texas who has died since we flew/marched/ran/illegally entered Bagdhad in 2003 is pictured in the Life & Arts section of the paper. I hate to look. It makes me cry. There they are, most of them pictured in front a flag in their military dress.... Specialist Corey M. Shea, 21 Captain Michael J. Medders, 25 Specialist Jessica Sarandrea, 22 Sergeant David K. Cooper, 25 And on and on it goes. Over 500 of them from Central Texas. It feels almost voyeuristic to stare into the faces...like I'm intruding on another mother's pain, somehow. But I stare. I study their names. I grieve over their ages - young, like my own sons. I imagine them as little boys and little girls. I picture them with little ones of their own. And I let myself cry. Even in a booth at the bagel shop. I take our wars quite personally. I invite you to do the same. Since we started war in Iraq on March 19, 2003 - 4,259 of our sons and daughters have died fighting for something they don't quite understand in a land they never imagined they'd be in - much less die in.
Look into their faces. Let these children of ours - the fallen, the lost, the dead - let them speak to you, if you can.
I can easily imagine them saying, "Enough. Bring my friends home." Let there be peace. Soon.


Frederico said...

It's hard to say anything when we see all this facts. Sad.

gay said...

This brings back very sad memories. I remember Vietnam. I remember losing so many schoolmates. I remember going to the funeral of the boy next door. I remember watching my mother age 10 years in the 18 months my brother was in Vietnam. I remember seeing the memorial for the first time and searching for the boy next door's name. I remember wanting peace then - my heart goes out to every parent, grandparent, family member and the "friend next door" - I'm still wanting peace today...