This has been a hard post to write; the photos have been online for several days. I took the opportunity to participate in The Mother’s Day Project, after listening to Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood’s Craft Sanity podcast. Anne Landre started this effort and says: “We will continue this project, this endeavor to awaken our sensibilities to the reality of war and the lives lost in Iraq – the soldiers, the women, the men, the Iraqis, the children and all its victims – until this war has ended.” She has asked volunteers to embroider the name of a female soldier that has died in the war. She will sew the names together into a tote; “Something that will go out into the world every day as a reminder of this horrible loss…” Each person that embroiders a name will get a chance to use the tote.
I chose to do this so that I would have some connection to the war in Iraq. As I was embroidering this young woman’s name, I thought about the war, and listened to the radio, and later did some reading. This is my small protest against our participation in the war in Iraq.
We have no business there. If we were truly fighting for freedom, I would be… I would be less against it. In Alan Greenspan’s (former Federal Reserve Chairman) new book “The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World,” Greenspan wrote: “I’m saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: The Iraq war is largely about oil.” Duh. So essentially this young woman, and 86 other women, and well over 3,000 U.S. soldiers, and well over 70,000 Iraqis (see this casualty list), have died so I can drive my Subaru back and forth to work.
Why aren’t we developing an alternative energy source? Why aren’t we helping the Iraqis to rebuild their economy, their infrastructure, and teaching them, instead of blowing them up?
Princess died 9 days before my birthday, and her funeral was 5 days afterwards. While I was celebrating and laughing, her mother was crying and will not see Princess again. During her last few weeks in Iraq, Princess was afraid, and very stressed, and wanted to go home. She was from Maryland, only 22 years old. Newly married to Victor. She was an art student; she painted watercolors and refashioned clothing out of her closet. She loved the color pink, and her poodle. She was a happy, cheerful, positive person. What a waste of a life. And what’s even sadder is this quote from Princess’s mother, after learning of the loss of her daughter: “She was just like the other soldiers,” Lawal said. “They can’t come out and say it because they will get in trouble, but many of them don’t believe in this mission. She didn’t.” Why will our soldiers get in trouble for expressing their opinion? Don’t they have First Amendment rights too?
I am sending along this little tiny crazy quilt; I’m not sure Anne will be able to use it, but I had to add something. Just that stark name didn’t seem like enough. Death claims us all, but it claimed Princess and so many others too soon. Far too soon.