The Sounds of Hope

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Have
you ever heard the sound of a mother screaming for her son?
The torrential rains of a mother’s weeping will never be done.
They call him a hero, you should be glad he’s one, but,
Have you ever heard the sound of a mother screaming for her son?

Have you
ever heard the sound of a father holding back his cries?
They say he must be brave because his boy died for another mans
lies.
The only thing he allows himself are long, deep sighs.
Have you ever heard the sound of a father holding back his cries?

Have you
ever heard the sound of taps played at your brother’s grave?
They say he died so the flag will continue to wave,
But I believe he died because they had oil to save.
Have you ever heard the sound of taps played at your brother’s
grave?

Have you
ever heard the sound of a Nation Rocked to Sleep?
The leaders want to keep you numb so the pain won’t be so deep,
But if we the people let them continue, another mother will weep.
Have you ever heard the sound of a Nation Rocked to Sleep?

The
sounds my daughter wrote about in her inspired poem, so poignantly
and amazingly a few weeks after her brother, my son, was killed
in Iraq, have been repeated over and over again too many times since
the criminal invasion/occupation of Iraq began in March of 2003.

These
sounds are imprinted in my DNA. I will never, ever forget the night
of April 4, 2004, when I found out that Casey had been killed. After
what seemed an eternity, I finally began to wonder who or what was
making those horrible screaming noises. Then I realized it was me.
It couldn't have been Casey's father, because he was paralyzed in
stunned silence holding the pair of pants he had been folding when
the deliverers of death news arrived.

I
will also never forget the day when we buried my sweet boy, my oldest
son. I'll never forget the playing of taps, or the violent, and
in hindsight, thoughtless, volley of the 21-gun salute. If I live
to be a very old lady and forget everything else, I will never forget
when the general handed me the folded flag that had lain on Casey's
coffin, as his brother and sisters, standing behind me, sobbed.

The
saddest thing about the obscene sounds of violence is that they
never should have been heard in the first place. From Maine to California,
and from Baghdad to Falluja, these dirges were unnecessary. In my
travels, and from hundreds of emails, phone calls, and cards and
letters, I am discovering that people who formerly supported the
invasion of Iraq are withdrawing their support. I even believe that
many of our fellow citizens who still support the ignominy of Iraq
are doing so because they are clinging to the deceptions so desperately,
because they want the deceptions to so be the truth. It will be
painful to come to terms with supporting the lies of this administration.
It will be painful to know that wholesale killing of innocent people
occurred because you and so many others believed the betrayals,
but acknowledging the mistake is the first step to correcting it.
And believe me, acknowledging the mistake is not as painful as hearing
those devastating sounds.

Rep.
Walter Jones (R-NC) has realized that he had been duped into supporting
the invasion. I have spoken to him about his change of heart, and
he is so sad that his wholehearted support of the administration
helped cause so many good people to hear those gut wrenching sounds
of grief. But he is going forward to do what he can to end this
occupation as soon as possible. He has co-sponsored a bi-partisan
bill (HRJ 55) with other Congressional leaders like Dennis
Kucinich (D-OH) and Ron Paul (R-TX) to force our administration
into a troop withdrawal beginning October 1, 2006. The bill is a
good first step to ensuring that families here in America and all
over the world do not have to suffer needless death in war. However,
I would like the withdrawal to begin tomorrow, because I don’t even
want to try and imagine the sounds Casey heard before he died. I
don’t want to imagine the sound of the bullet strong enough to pierce
the Kevlar coating on his helmet to rip through his skull. I don't
want to know the sounds of a mother in Iraq wailing for her entire
family. These sounds need to stop immediately. It is time to bring
our troops home.

The
sound I do want to hear is the sound of a Nation Waking Up. I will
rejoice to hear the sounds of the collective Mea Culpa and the beating
of breasts. I want to hear the deafening clicks as the steady stream
of news-o-tainment is turned off, propaganda that is turning us
into zombies who are numb to the truth. I want to hear the sound
of our children getting off planes and boats from Iraq to the joyful
squealing of their children and the deep sighs of relief
from their spouses, parents, and other loved ones. I want to hear
our citizenry lifting up their voices in chorus and singing, “We
will never let this happen again.”

July
18, 2005

Cindy
Sheehan [send her mail] is
the mother of Spc.
Casey Austin Sheehan, KIA 04/04/04
She is co-founder of Gold
Star Families for Peace
. She is the author of Not
One More Mother’s Child
and Dear
President Bush
.

Cindy
Sheehan Archives

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