Sunday, October 02, 2005

Minneapolis-St. Paul

1,933 pairs of combat boots covered nearly a football field of space at St Catherine's College in St. Paul, MN. On the first day, as scores of volunteers helped lay them out at 6:30am, they found out by the end of the day that another five had been killed.

The shoes representing a portion of the Iraqis killed formed a labyrinth and at least 10 schools from the area sent students to walk through them and see the memorial. On Sunday, people stood 38 deep just to pass by the 14 pairs of real boots donated by the families of U.S. military killed in Iraq.

Nick Coleman, journalist from the Minneapolis Star wrote one of the best, if not THE best articles about Eyes Wide Open in the past year and a half entitled Woeful Footprints of War. It appears on the front page of the Metro section with a huge photo of a woman weeping besides the boots.

He profiles the family of Matthew G. Milczark, age 18 who died in Kuwait in 2004. Matt's father and two aunts slipped a rosary on his boots that Matt had kept on his bed. Two flags, left over from his funeral, had been just sitting in their house, and they didn't know what to do with them. One they left with his boots and another with his best friend's boots, who was killed within a month of Matt's death. The aunts moved all three pairs of boots of the "Carlton County boys" side by side -- so that they could be together.

Nick Coleman came back the next day as well, "when he wasn't working."


At 2:38 AM, Blogger Quit Smoking said...

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At 6:35 AM, Blogger J Rankin said...

Well we did it and it was fantastic, I hope everyone is feeling good about our effort and the results. I could go on about....

- the number of college and high school students that attended
- the climate we (and the exhibit) created to allow everyone to experience the exhibit
- the College of St. Catherine's; their students, faculty, and staff - especially the security and maintenance staff
- the weather
- the experience we provided for volunteers - so many people had a chance to contribute
- how many service families visited
- Nick Coleman's article - go to the AFSC Web site and see the brief report on Minneapolis/St. Paul, it provides a link to the article
- the numbers of people who attended, the numbers of people who saw the exhibit when driving by, and the numbers of people who saw the exhibit via the media
- the photos that were taken and will be shared
- the song written for the event
- the stories the exhibit generated that are being shared with others right now

This may be the most significant event I have ever worked on. Many people worked hard to make this happen and many, many people have expressed thankfulness for our efforts.

At 10:40 AM, Blogger Roberto Iza Valdes said...

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At 8:03 AM, Blogger Roberto Iza Valdes said...

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