Friday, July 22, 2005

Des Moines

This note comes from Celeste Zapalla, a mother who lost her son Sherwood Baker in the Iraq War. Sherwood was the first National Guard soldier from Pennsylvania killed in war since WWII.

"I was in Des Moines, Iowa with other military families during the National Governor's Conference. The American Friends Service Committee sponsored a display of the empty boots of the 233 National Guard who have died thus far.

The hope of the event was to get the Governors to focus on the terrible conditions the Guard are experiencing and the fact that these decent people who signed up as the homeland guard are being used up by this war based on deception. Good and decent people, all ages, races, men and women young kids and grand-dad -- their names attached to the silent boots spread on the nearly treeless side walk
in unforgiving heat.

A Mom and her two daughters, aged 8 and 17 whose Dad is in Iraq from Military Families Speak Out was there, the little girl braved the heat all day, with such devotion to the picture of her Dad that she carried, alternating between her little girl courage and her deep sadness. Kids should not be in such a position, her wonderful Dad has made it very clear that the pretenses and conditions of war in Iraq are betrayal to him and his fellows. Little Mary was his witness.

We had invited the Governors to join us during the two day event, to pay respects or to read the names of the fallen. We were grateful for the fine people who came out to support us and the press coverage was pretty thorough.

However, the only governor who attended was our Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell. I was surprised and grateful that he came on Saturday to pay respect, and to tell us that no matter how anyone feels about the war, the consequences -- represented by those boots -- have to be recognized, reckoned with and accounted for. We stood together and stared at the boots with Sher's name and the last picture of our family with him alive. In that hot silence the anguish of all the families was overpowering -- and All of us are witnesses to that great sadness..."

with peace and hope
Celeste

This is the story from the Des Moines Register, with Mary's picture.

3 Comments:

At 10:54 PM, Blogger Bill Adams said...

Veteran's Day is November 11th and I hope that EVERY American will be flying the flag in honor of our troops fighting in Iraq and around the world to preserve our freedoms!

I can even tell you where to get one for free! Visit AmericanFlags.com right now and they'll send you a FREE American Flag. These flags were $19.99, but now they are FREE. You pay just for shipping/handling and they'll ship one to your door. (Actually - I've ordered more than 20 from them to give to my neighbors, as gifts, etc!)

Get your free flag now: **FREE AMERICAN FLAG**

Semper Fi!

Bill Adams

 
At 5:32 PM, Blogger David Pakman said...

Hey, excellent website. A great Iraq resource is Deaths in Iraq. It breaks all of the casualties down by age, race, branch of the military, country, etc.

 
At 7:02 PM, Blogger David Pakman said...

Hey, excellent website. A great Iraq resource is Deaths in Iraq. It breaks all of the casualties down by age, race, branch of the military, country, etc.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home