(10 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
Reports from Iraq Moratorium #15, observed Nov. 21, are coming in to the Moratorium website. This one from Santa Barbara:
Vets for Peace, Chapter 54: A war memorial honoring exclusively the 18- 19- year-old military personnel, men and women killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, was erected on a lawn overlooking the ocean at Santa Barbara City College. The local chapter of Veterans for Peace and students set up the memorial, which currently honors 303 young men & women.
Dr. Gilberto Robledo, former faculty member of SBCC and VFP member along with several other VFP/SBCC students sets up the memorial the third Friday of every month in conjunction with the national Iraq Moratorium. As students, faculty, staff & community members pass by, they’re asked to place a placard on a white tombstone. The military person’s picture, name, unit, circumstance surrounding the death, and birth date is on the placard. This interactive memorial depicts the cost of war, especially to the college age students, who in many cases are in the same age range as the teen casualties of these two current conflicts.
American teenage casualties, of course, are the tip of the iceberg when measuring the costs of the wars. In Iraq alone, hundreds of thousands of civilians — some estimates say a million — have died. Even before the war, 500,000 Iraqi children died unnecessarily because of economic sanctions that prevented them from getting the food and medical care they needed.
Reminding college students that young men and women their age are dying is one way to bring the cost of war home. There are many others, like a “health care not warfare” campaign in Wisconsin aimed at redirecting our tax dollars from killing to life-saving. You’ll find reports from there, and other actions across the country, on the website, too.