Today is Independance Day, the day our country celebrates with a shower of fireworks, BBQ's, a parade...or in our own,personal way. Glenda has given us a goal of posting for Peace. We are posting the reasons why we want out of Iraq, why we want Peace or what this day means to us. You can read the 50 other bloggers who have joined as one voice today HERE. Now, my post...
I am an active member of MoveOn, United for Peace and Justice and several other groups. I started the reading of the names here in my red city in our red county when the 2000th soldier died. It was hard to keep my voice from cracking as I read their names and cities outloud in the darkness that night.
I write letters to the editors to impeach the Shrub and why it needs to happen now,suprisingly the paper prints them!.
I have driven over 400 miles roundtrip to march with the Vietnam Vets for Peace group in Santa Barbara earlier this year. I marched shoulder to shoulder with a 85 year old man that had been through many of our wars. I am a child of the Vietnam war and lost 3 close friends in that horrible conflict, and my first husband will never be right because of what that war did to him.The warmongers kept at it...until we all took to the streets and marched and screamed and sang and demanded that it stop. I have seen the inside of jails and been beated with batons when my only crime was to speak out against Nixon and his war machine.
I thought I would never see such worthless brutality in my lifetime again. I figured we had learned from our mistake in Vietnam.
But we didn't..and so once again I must take my tired ol ass out to protest,I must speak for those that no longer have a voice. I march for those that died for all the wrong reasons in this, our new "fresh hell". Its not so easy to march those miles anymore, and I have a shorter temper with those that seek to silence me.I will rail against this crap until once again, its over..and humans can get on with the business of living.
A new friend sent me an email this past weekend. Her Husband is over in Iraq. She runs the Bake Sales for Body Armor website. Instead of buying a ribbon to support the the troops your contributions go to buying them body armor to protect them. She makes Peace quilts for the Gold Star families. The following is her contribution to todays Post for Peace:
I was 13 when my uncles went to vietnam. 4 of them went at once. the
youngest of them was 6 years older than me. my gramma, my dad's mom, was
55 then, 7 years older than i am now. during the collective 3 years that
they were gone, i watched her go from middle aged to ancient. i was very
close to my gramma, my father was her eldest child, and i am his. i had
grown up with her as my babysitter, tacked on to the end of her children,
as if i were hers, rather than his.
two of the boys were her children, the 3rd was the fiance' of my aunt, and
his family had been life long friends of ours. the last boy was the son
of town drunks, and had spent his life in my gramma's home, he was the
best friend of my youngest uncle, i was 8 before i knew he wasn't really
ours. the two of them barely made 200 pounds if you threw them in
together. scrawny and geeky, i thought they were gramma's twins, and that
they were unlike her "big boys" because there were 2 of them.
my gramma never slept well, an insomniac, like many in my family. it was
worse during those years. i remember those years, her sitting up into the
wee hours of the morning, with the letters from her sons clutched in her
hands, silent tears running down her face, her elbows on the table. i
heard her pray quietly, and the only words i ever understood were "my
boys, my boys". i could hear her from the unfinished basement where i
slept with my sister, in my uncle's bed.
i know i inherited her instinctive fear of military dress uniform, and i
remember the day that seed sprouted in me. it was a beautiful summer day
in our small town. gramma was doing laundry in the kitchen and taking it
out to hang it in the little yard out back. i was waiting for my friend
barbie to come over, and we were going to walk to the local park, to play
in the water of the creek.
gramma had a load of wet laundry in her basket, and she was headed for the
back door of the house. i heard the sharp intake of her breath, i turned
to see her looking out the big kitchen window. she was saying "oh god,
no, no no." i ran to her, she dropped the basket to the floor. clothes
spilled out, but she didn't see that. i saw what she saw, 3 men in dress
uniforms, getting out of a car, on the side of her house. she sank into a
chair in the kitchen, rocking back and forth, saying "no, oh god, no."
she started to call my grampa's name, "roy, roy, please, not my boys" but
grampa was at work, he could not help her.
the uniformed men gathered on the side walk, and they began walking
together around the corner, as if they would go to our front door. my
gramma always said that trouble came to the front door, our friends came
to the back. since we lived on the corner, i ran to the living room to
watch the men, i remember thinking i wouldn't let them in when they got to
they walked past our house, and they went two doors up to nicky and emma's
house. i loved nicky, he smoked the fish that my sister and i caught and
somehow there were always more fish when he was done than we we started.
emma was a good friend to gramma, they talked on the sidewalk when we
walked in the cool evenings past their house. i called to gramma, "it's
ok gramma, they're gone, they went to nicky and emma's house."
my gramma said "oh baby, it's not ok. nicky and emma's boy is with our
jimmy and sammy." i knew that was bad, jimmy and sammy were in the worst
of it, i'd heard gramma say to friends on the phone. dicky and ron were
safe. ron drove the officers around saigon, dicky was a medic. jimmy and
sammy were in the jungle, it was bad for them.
i watched as gramma pulled herself together. she picked up the laundry,
put it back in the wash machine, she washed her face, and changed her
dress from her house dress, to a nice one. she ran a comb through her
hair, wet it, and put the finger waves she always did in the sides. she
put her scarf on. she waited by the in the kitchen, watching out the
it seemed forever, and then the men in dress uniforms came back. they got
in their car and left. when they did, gramma went out the back door,
around the corner and walked slowly up to nicky and emma's house. she
didn't take me with, she left me home, and she asked me when barbie came,
if we would make a cassarole for emma.
you must know, I loved my gramma more than words could ever express. of
course I would stay home, of course I would make a cassarole for emma.
barbie came, I told her we had to stay home. she didn't know why, but i
told her the dress uniforms had gone to emma's house. she had a uncle in
vietnam too, she knew that was bad. we made a tuna noodle cassarole.
gramma came home. she told me that emma and nicky's boy had been killed in
the war. grampa came home from work, and gramma told him too. they took
the cassarole I made up to emma's and nicky's house. it was late before
they came home and it was late before we had dinner that night.
I heard my gramma that night, up praying at the kitchen table.
a week later, I marched in my first anti war protest. I had my gramma's
support. she looks on me from heaven now and I know I still have her
support. I feel her with me, every day. now it is me that sits up at
night, at the kitchen table, praying. now it is me that hates the sight
of a military dress uniform. Now it is me.
The following post is from another new friend. He doesn't celebrate this day. He mourns the soldiers that never came home from Vietnam. David's website is: A Republic,If you can Keep It.
These 19 United States Citizens (This article says, "I suspect we will learn about more such cases as time goes on.") are not going to celebrate Independence Day with their families tomorrow because they served their country during an unpopular war several decades ago. When the war ended they were left behind forgotten by everyone but their families and close friends. Now the country we were fighting at that time is one of our trading partners. Chances are stuff made by our former enemy is being sold in a store near you. I'm thinking we should leave every bit of that stuff on the store shelf until every United States soldier that was left behind in Vietnam is accounted for.
We must never forget our POW/MIA's.
God Bless America, God Save The Republic.
The following is the list of Bloggers Posting 4 Peace..WE SHALL NOT HAVE TO DO THIS NEXT YEAR,
IF WE ALL RAISE OUR VOICES LOUD AND CLEAR.
Libby - The Impolitic
Lew Scannon - Unbrainwashed
Ron Nasty - The Nasty Page
Diane S. - A Stone, A Leaf, An Unfound Door...
Grish - The Weekly View
Ann - The Tulgey Wood
A Rose Is A Rose - Ravings Of A Semi-Sane Madwoman
Changeseeker - The List List
Kvatch - Blognonymous
Cali - Nite Swimming
Dusty - It's My Right To Be Left Of Center
Steve O. - Naked Politics
John Good - Left In Aboite
Tabor - One Day At A Time
Angie - Ang's Weird Ideas
Donnie McDaniel - The Katrinacrat Blog
Glenda - Glenda In The Land Of Oz
Elizabeth Branford - The Blue Republic
Elizabeth Branford - Lose The Noose
guerillasinthe midst - GUERRILLASintheMIDST
Dizzy Dezzi - I'm Jus' A Lil' Dizzy!
Time - Time
The Poetryman - Poetic Justice
Pissed Off Patricia - Morning Martini
Sarah - An American Aries
Sumo - Summo Merriment
Beth - Here I Am
James - Genius Of Insanity
Betmo - Life's Jouney
Celtic Fire - celticfire
Weezielou - weezielou
Divajood - Journeys With Jood
Michael Bains - Silly Humans
Peacechick Mary - Knock Knock
BZ - Intrepid Flame
JM - John's Blog
Stella - Swiftspeech
Tnkrkell in Space or a Gay Grad Girl Growing Out
Elizabeth Branford- Consider The Boot
Advocate 1 and Brandon-Coalition for a Republic Free America
Enigma4ever - Watergate Summer
War on Terror