The Cost of War: Eyes Wide Open exhibit on the Ellipse, Oct 3 & 4

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

Cross-posted at Daily Kos, MyDD, and Open Left.


See below for how you can aid this project.


On the weekend of October 3rd and 4th, the American Friends Service Committee, and Military Families Speak Out, are sponsoring the Eyes Wide Open exhibit, which will be the first such exhibit showing the cost of war in Afghanistan.

A pair of boots representing each service member who has died as a result of military operations in Afghanistan will be displayed on the Ellipse in Washington, D.C., 837 officially identified to date at the Washington Post’s Faces of the Fallen site.  Shoes representing civilian deaths will also be exhibited.

Similar exhibits were sponsored across the nation by the American Friends in previous years.



The purpose of the exhibit:

To open the public eye to the true costs of the Afghanistan War, we use empty combat boots and civilian shoes as a tangible, visual representation of human loss. When people can walk in the midst of empty shoes and read the names, ages, and hometowns of those who have been killed, the war comes home to them in a powerful way.



About the organizations:

The American Friends Service Committee is a practical expression of the faith of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). Committed to the principles of nonviolence and justice, it seeks in its work and witness to draw on the transforming power of love, human and divine.

The American Friends Service Committee carries out service, development, social justice, and peace programs throughout the world. We nurture the faith that conflicts can be resolved nonviolently, that enmity can be transformed into friendship, strife into cooperation, poverty into well-being, and injustice into dignity and participation. We believe that ultimately goodness can prevail over evil, and oppression in all its many forms can give way.

Military Families Speak Out is an organization of people opposed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who have relatives or loved ones who are currently in the military or who have served in the military since the fall of 2001.

Formed by two families in November of 2002, our members now span the United States, and countries around the world. Our membership currently includes over 4,000 military families, with new families joining daily.

As people with family members and loved ones in the military, we know that it is our loved ones who are, or have been, or will be on the battlefront. It is our loved ones who are at risk, who have been injured or who have died as a result of these wars. It is our loved ones who are returning scarred from their experiences, who are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).



AFSC and MFSO encourage your involvement and assistance with this substantial project.  How can you help bring this powerful display to Washington?

SPONSOR A PAIR OF BOOTS – For a contribution of $5 you can sponsor a pair of boots, and support the effort to open the public eye to the true costs of the Afghanistan War.

PARTNERS OF THE EXHIBIT – Please encourage your local groups to become a partner in this exhibit.




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  1. does the drum beat for Iran remind me of Iraq.

    There is NO PROOF of WMD’s

    They will tell us the Iranians will WANT Regime change

    It is ALL going on gut instinct

    I smell BS, and Afghanistan/Pakistan is looking like Vietnam/Cambodia 2

  2. The Exhibit will be located on the Ellipse, or “President’s Park”, as they refer to it in

    the National Parks Service, on the Southeast quadrant.

    thanks for this, hound dog, how did I miss it?? Oh yeah I got sidetracked listening to Bonnie Raiit! lol (see my recent essay)

    • Hound Dog on September 30, 2009 at 07:59

    Thanks for taking note of this diary!

    The Eyes Wide Open exhibit is a very big project.  Over 830 pairs of boots must be transported to the Ellipse, along with a sizeable number of shoes.  As you can see in the photos, great care is taken in arranging the display, requiring work of many dedicated members of AFSC and MFSO. A number of volunteers must stay with the exhibit overnight.  Of course, once the exhibit is over, all the boots must be repacked and transported again.

    If you’re able to contribute five dollars, you will be sponsoring a pair of boots.

    Please contact your Members of Congress, and encourage them to visit the exhibit.

    Please spread word of the exhibit in your circles.  Also, please alert peace and social justice groups which you know and suggest they consider partnering with AFSC and MFSO on this project.

    This is a powerful visual exhibit.  Media will be present of all kinds, and stories, photos and videos of the exhibit will likely circulate in the media.

    Thank you, thank you!

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