Iraq Memorial Starts in Olympia
Volunteers made the thousands of markers and placed them on Friday by Capitol Lake.
Some markers had the person's name and age but many more were listed as "Unknown." The official agency counting deaths could not obtain the information. Many families just know that their loved ones went missing. While the numbers of markers was overwhelming, it was nowhere close to the number of civilians who have died.
The Memorial opening ceremony was held on March 20 and the daylong event included a walking mediation, a dedication and candlelight vigil. On Saturday, the warm sun brought people to the lake to walk the aisles and aisles of markers.
As I wondered through the aisles, I saw a man on crutches walking into the memorial. It was Salam Talib Hassan, an Iraqi who now lives in the United States. He was here to set a marker for his brother that was killed on his way to work. Ala'a Talib, 35 years old, was killed on his way to work. Her was shot 20 times and no one knows who was responsible. Salam said that his brother had recently gotten married; despite Salam's urging, his brother did not want to leave Iraq.
After Salam placed the marker, he noticed a marker for Richard Wild, a British journalist, a few markers away. Wild was living with Salam and several other journalists in Baghdad when he was killed July 2003. He was 24 years old when he was shot at very close range.
After the Memorial is taken down on March 21st, it will travel to various cities around the country before arriving in Washington, D.C.
This is a volunteer effort. If you are moved to help --to assemble markers, to bring the memorial to your community or financially—contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or www.iraqmemorialtolife.org
They also had a flyer with other ways people can help:
Collateral Repair Project: www.collateralrepairproject.org
Direct Aid Iraq: www.directaidiraq.org
No More Victims: www.nomorevictims.org
The List Project: www.thelistproject.org
Iraqi Health Project: http://Iraqhealthnow.org