Thursday, February 17, 2005

Iraqi War Memorial - Eyes Wide Open


I tried to write this post yesterday, but since I am new to blogging, I could not for the life of me figure out how to post pictures. Anthony could sense my frustration from the other room, and today figured it out AND posted all the photos for me. What a great husband.

Yesterday, I went to a traveling memorial for the Iraqi war. It was called "Eyes Wide Open," and the purpose is to illustrate the cost of human life for the war. A pair of combat boots sits on the ground for each soldier killed, along with his/her name, age, and hometown. It started in Chicago when there were 504 pairs of boots. Now there are over 1400.

I drove downtown to Zilker Park, where the memorial was set up. I brought Colin and Montana dog with me. It was a bright cool day, with a breeze that lifted our hair, and warm sunshine on our backs.

I wrapped Montana's leash around the stroller handle and pushed Colin up the hill to where the memorial was set up. There were several people quietly walking through the boots, stooping to read the nametags, and meditating. Since I had the stroller and the dog, I just walked around the perimeter of the boots. I knew it would be emotionally evocative, but I was totally unprepared for how suddenly I was overwhelmed by grief and emotion. It was devastating. The boots are arranged by state, and Texas was represented in the front. The first five names I read were for soldiers whose ages were between 18 and 20. Family and friends of soldiers had attatched flowers, ribbons, and other momentos to the boots. There were many pictures of the soldiers, with their wives, and small children. Many babies who would never know their daddies. Several boots had folded letters inside them. The soldiers in the photos all looked so strong, so young, so healthy, and so brave. None of them looked like they should be dead.

As I walked around the boots, Colin said, "Shoes.... shoes... flower... mommeeee... shoes...."

(cont on the next post)

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

HOW LOVELY YET SO SAD.


LOVE
ANDREW

ANDREW said...

hOW LOVELY YET SO SAD
lOVE ANDREW
PS OMA AND I ARE GOING THE END OF THE MONTH TO SEE THE MEMORIAL IN DALLAS.

Library Lady said...

It makes them real human beings, not just faces in the newspaper, doesn't it?
Not just cardboard "heroes" for the politicians to piously invoke, though none of THEM are going to lose children in this nightmare....