I know I promised a post about D.C. (um...S!), but I have to get this out, I want to share this story with you. I feel empowered to share it, to spread the truth so others can get a better understanding of who the person is that is running our country. I apologize ahead of time, some of what I'm about to write may not settle too well with you. But that's the point.
Last night, I attended a talk given by a woman named Cindy Sheehan whose son, Casey Sheehan, was killed in the war in Iraq. She was introduced to the sweltering crowd at the Beneficient Church in downtown Providence as a woman "who lost her son in the war." She immediately explained that she is more often than not introduced as a woman who "lost" someone. She said she once lost her son in Disney World; her son was murdered and she knows exactly where he is: in a coffin. She didn't want sympathy, she wants people to become angry at what is going on in the Middle East, angry that we are being lied to repeatedly, angry that thousands upon thousands of lives are being innocently lost - both Iraqian and Amerian - for no reason except for the President to gain even more power in this world. She wants people to know the truth behind the bloodshed and media deceit we are being fed.
I wish I could remember everything that she said, all the reasons she gave as proof of this war being unneccesary and unjust. But unfortunately, my memory is horrible. However, I do remember the story she told that will stick with me for the rest of my life, and the story that I am going to tell here. This story was the point where it became real to me exactly what kind of person (I say person because I am convinced he may not even be human) George Bush is. Before her son left for the war, he was told they would be greeted by children handing out chocolates and flowers, expressing unending thanks for being their saviors in this world. He was there 4 days before he was shot in the back of the head (by a weapon that, most likely, was given to an Iraqi by Americans back when we were friends with Sadaam). He was armored in a vest left over from the Vietnam War, a green vest; he might as well have been wearing a flashing sign stating: "Here I am! Here I am!" There are varying stories about his last breaths, but what she does know is he eventually died in a hospital while a nurse was trying to hold his brains in and a doctor was trying viligently to get his heart pumping once again. He never got handed chocolates and flowers, the children of Iraq would have actually had to have wanted them there, first. After he was sent back to California to be buried, the Sheehan's were invited to the White House for a memorial for their son. They awaited the president in a room with various families of soldiers who were killed. He walked in and the first thing out of his mouth, in a long Texas-drawl, was, "So who are we honoring here today?" He spoke the sentence out loud to the room, he didn't even bother to find out before he walked in. He came up to the Sheenan's and never once called their son a "He" and not once referred to him as any form of a human being at all. He also never once looked any of them in their eyes. He bent down to speak to Casey's sister and said, "I wish I could bring your loved one back," as if it was being played from a tape recorder, without a trace of affection in his words. She replied in agreement, "Yeh, I wish you could!" He simply said back, soaked in arrogance, "I bet you do." Further down the line, another woman whose only son was killed by his war had, prior to the memorial, written a letter blaming the president for the death of her son, calling him a murderer and stating she will do everything she possibly can to prevent anyone else from being innocently killed and deceived by this war. He had apparently been read the letter before he came into the room, and knew what she had written Before she said anything, he got within an inch of her face and said (approximately, my memory isn't the greatest), "I am George W. Bush, the President of the United States, and I hear you have something to say to me." She didn't back down, she told him everything she had written in the letter, including calling him a murderer.
Casey Sheehan was killed on 04/04/04, exactly 37 years after Martin Luther King, Jr. was assasinated, and exactly 38 years after he wrote "Letter From Birmingham Jail." This significant date has driven Cindy Sheehan to lead a life dedicated to ending unjust wars and spreading the truth about the politics in this country. She hopes to motivate the citzens of this nation to take back their country and make a stop to this war. The last poll showed that over 60% of Americans believed there is no just reason for us to be in this war --- so how is it that we have no control over the fate of our sons and daughters? They enlisted into the military because they felt it was their duty to protect our soil and fight for our freedom, but they didn't enlist to be lied to or used in the fight for ultimate power over the rest of the world.
I recommend checking out the Gold Star Families for Peace group's site (http://www.gsfp.org/) that Cindy Sheenan helped found. I especially encourage you to read the poem that her daughter wrote about the death of her brother, the poem "A Nation Rocked to Sleep," that moved me to tears as she read it to the audience last night. (If you go to the site, it's on the opening page about half way down). I know that this talk, as well as my trip to D.C. has given me a motivation I've needed for a very long time now, motivation to start fighting for what we should be handed to as citizens of this so called "free nation." I hope I can continue to find ways to express this, and I hope you can somehow find a way to do so in your own lives. As of late, I've felt like a stranger to myself. I'm not used to this energy, but I am soaking it up and hoping it sticks around.
Ok, I promise, the D.C. one is next up!