(Taken from the "Rise in Remembrance" website:) "At a time when the images of fallen soldiers are being censored by the media and the government, we are clouded to the true casualties of war--those lives lost and the families they leave behind. In recognition of their service, an equal number of black balloons to the number of American soldiers killed in the Iraq War will be released from Laurelhurst Park June 27th. Each biodegradable balloon will carry a card stating a soldier's information in remembrance to the individual sacrifice made for our country. The intent is to provide an opportunity for release and communal support for those who have suffered a loss, and to question whether the casualties justify the war's goals and agenda."|
"MERCY KNOWS NO RESON FOR THE KILLINGS."
After Andrea of Rise in Remembrance made some brief introductory remarks, the event was then moderated by Marvin Simmons, of Northwest Veterans for Peace. Speakers included Jefferson Smith of the Bus Project; Grant Remington, Veteran and President of Veterans for Peace, Chapter 72; Tom Markgraf, Sr. advisor to Rep. Earl Bluenauer; statements from family members of those killed in Iraq war and occupation; and one other speaker, a minister I believe, whose name I didn't catch.
Unfortunately the event was sparsely attended, but what it lacked in numbers it made up in heart and compassion. The deaths of these soldiers in the face of the lies and dissemulation which brought them to this fate is more than tragic, it is CRIMINAL. Those who love Democracy in this country are burdened, not only with an Administration seeking world Empire, but by a population apparantly asleep at the wheel, lulled into a numb state by a Corporate Media refusing to ask hard questions of government officials or challenge the growing Corporate influence upon every facet of our daily lives.
People spoke with a depth of feeling that went far beyond Death and Loss, but welled up from deeper sources of Love of humanity and Democracy, which alone makes this country great. Neither wealth nor the bludgeon we wield across the planet makes this country great. What makes a nation, a people, a culture great is it's ability to provide space for all voices and keep its promises, especially to those with little power.
As Jefferson Smith said: "If you were to adopt a religious matra for international policy, it would not be peace through strength, but strength through peace."
This is an 8 1/2 minute video of a little of those speakers and music.