Name Withheld Pending Notification
by Cindy Sheehan
I woke up this morning, the "official" death count in
Iraq was 1579. The first thing I do in the morning after I boot
up my computer is to check the DoD website to see if any more of
our nationís precious children were killed in this horror of a nonsensical
war. I was talking to another Gold Star Mom, Celeste Zappala, today
and she sadly advised me that the count rose to 1579 (note: the
official count is now 1594) while she was out to lunch.
and I and too many other moms know what the significance of "Pending
Notification" means: it means that there are people in our
country going through their lives right now not even knowing that
they are about to be ambushed with the most devastating news of
their lives: "We regret to inform youÖ."
in America, there is a mom (I always think of the moms first) shopping
for groceries, driving home from a long week of work, or maybe even
planning her soldierís homecoming party. Somewhere, here in our
country there is a mother who is hoping that she will receive a
Motherís Day card from her soldier, or perhaps, if she is extremely
lucky, a rushed telephone call. There is a mom out there who has
been worried sick about her soldier since they arrived in the combat
zone. Maybe the mom still supports George Bush and the occupation
or maybe the mom is certain if her child is killed in this abomination
that her sweet baby, her soldier will have died for lies and betrayals.
In the end, and at that moment, the mom is not going to care about
politics or about reasons for invasion and occupation. She wonít
care if her child died for freedom and democracy, or to make some
people wealthier and more powerful. All she will see is the Grim
Reaper in a uniform standing at her door before she collapses on
the floor screaming for her child and pleading with the Grim Reaper
to take her with him.
there is a father in America who wonít know what hit him and who
won't know whom to hit back. There are brothers and sisters, nieces
and nephews, spouses, and children who are about to step on the
path of unbearable pain and seemingly endless grief. Today there
are the families and friends of three wonderful human beings who
never, until now, knew that the human body could produce so many
tears. Somewhere in America live our fellow citizens who never even
knew that a broken heart is not theoretical or symbolic. These most
unfortunates are about to find out that a broken heart hurts far
worse than a broken limb, and does not heal so readily, if ever
families of these soldiers are also departing on a long tour of
banalities uttered by well-meaning, but letís face it, uninformed
people. I hear these phrases over and over again: "Time heals
every thing", "Caseyís in a better place", (oh really,
I didnít know that home with his mom was such a bad place to be),
"Casey wants you to be happy", "Casey died doing
what he loved doing", (he did?), or, my favorite, "Casey
died defending his country". Let me assure the reader, phrases
like this do not help. They are clichés for one thing, and
for another, none of them are true. None of them help a grieving
family. If you, the reader, is ever in the situation facing a mom
who had her son brutally murdered, God forbid, I will give you hints
on what does help: hugs (lots and lots), make sure she eats, make
sure she drinks plenty of water (tears are dehydrating), make sure
she hears wonderful things about her child, bring boxes of tissues
and toilet paper, and bring yourself. Leave your tired and impotent
clichés at the door.
course, the most tragic thing about the 1579 is that not even one
should be dead. Our "president" cheerfully rushed this
country into a needlessly horrendous and devastating invasion. Our
"president" thinks stolen elections confer a mandate.
Our Congress cheerfully relinquished their Constitutional responsibility
to declare war. If they had any courage or honor they would claim
that right back and end this travesty. I have a feeling our mis-leaders
will be having a nice day with their moms or their children on Mother's
Day. As they are eating their brunches and giving and receiving
bouquets of Mother's Day flowers, they probably never even think
about the moms in this world that their insanely reckless policies
have destroyed. It never enters their wicked brains that they have
ruined Mother's Day for so many families. This is a tragedy.
media was, and still is, a willing shill for the Administration
and has never told the American public the truth. Reporting about
Iraq is always trumped by such as child molesters, Martha Stewart,
Terri Schiavo, Scott Peterson, the American Idol, or now, Runaway
Brides! Another tragic thing about this illegal and disastrous invasion
and occupation is that there are only 1579 families in this country
who even have to think about Iraq. Most Americans probably donít
even know where to find Iraq on a map. The Halliburtons, Bechtels,
KBRs, and the oil oligarchs of the world, who are laughing all the
way to the bank, think of Iraq with greedy glee each day. Sorrowfully,
there are 1579 families in this country who have "Iraq"
carved on their hearts and souls for eternity. We have sacrificed
more than the $1.99 it costs to buy a "Support the Troops"
magnet for our cars. We have had a violent amputation. Even if our
fellow citizens donít realize it, by allowing this occupation to
continue, they are also losing a very important part of themselves:
heart, my prayers, and my love go to the three families who are
now embarking on this mournful, unnecessary journey. We at Gold
Star Families for Peace are here for them. I hope they find comfort
in what I know now seems like a comfortless world. Peace.
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.
© 2005 LewRockwell.com