FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Memorial Wall for Iraq War’s Dead and Wounded

In an emotional and heartfelt ceremony followed by the playing of taps, Veterans for Peace unveiled a graphic, oversized “Iraq War Memorial Wall” next to the Vietnam War Memorial at the California State Capitol on March 21.

The “wall,” the brainchild of Pat Driscoll, founder of the Sacramento chapter of the organization, commemorates the thousands of lives lost and tens of thousands injured in the Iraq War. This wall and ceremony is the first of its kind in the country, although other Veterans for Peace (VFP) chapters have done different events exposing the cost of Bush’s war, including displays of empty boots and white crosses representing the U.S. military dead.

Driscoll’s display, made of poster-board panels in black wooden frames, features the names–and photos where available–of service men and women who have died in Iraq. On the day of the unveiling, 582 U.S. soldiers had already died there.

Also listed are the U.S. military wounded, 3,300, the estimated injured, 7,000 to 10,000, and U.S. military suicides in Iraq, 21. The “wall” also lists Iraqi civilian deaths as 8,769 to 10,618 and civilian injured as 43,500 to 53,090.

Missing from the display–because of lack of good data -was an estimate of Iraq military deaths. However, Driscoll said his best estimate of the number of military dead was around 10,000.

“It’s a sad day that reminds me of my own service during the Vietnam War–and the lies that war was built upon,” said Driscoll at the brief ceremony attended by over 40 members of VFP and supporters. “The Iraq War was also based on lies. Truth is the first casualty of war and the way we best honor the sacrifice of the troops is by honoring the truth.”

Driscoll said the Iraq Memorial Wall, after being displayed at the capitol, will be brought to other cities and towns in the Central Valley and the Sierra Nevada foothills.

“The wall shows the true cost of war,” said Driscoll. “As veterans, we commit ourself to the truth and doing something about it. When it’s time to vote, remember to cross the line between war and peace over to the side of peace.”

Dennis Christine, another member of VFP who left the Air National Guard last year after 20 years of service, pointed out how there was a huge influx of young people into the military after the 9-11 attacks. “In my unit, many people signed up for the best intentions,” she explained. “Now they’re being used in an unjust war that is stirring up the forces that attacked the U.S. in the first place. The Bush administration policy in Iraq is symptomatic of a foreign policy that for a long time has given rise to terrorism.”

Christine and Driscoll, both of whom actively oppose U.S. intervention in Iraq, said that the war amounts to an effort to take the natural resources (oil) out of the country on the “pretext of getting a bad guy out of power.” She noted that there are “at least a dozen tin pot dictators oppressing and murdering their people in countries throughout the world,” but the Bush administration does not appear to be worried about them.

George Main, president of the VFP chapter, said the cost of the Iraq War is even higher when you consider the 7 G.I.s who committed suicide after coming back to the U.S. from the Iraq war. In addition, 478 were shipped back to the states as “Section 8”–mentally ill cases.

“They are basically damaged goods and receive no support from the Bush administration when they return,” Main said.

Driscoll noted that it took 13 years from the end of the Vietnam War for a veterans memorial to rise in Capitol Park, but it only took one year since the latest U.S. invasion of Iraq for a group to display a memorial in the park. Referring to the demonstrations held throughout the world on the previous day and over the past year, Driscoll said, “It’s great to see this much resistance throughout the world in one year.”

Driscoll, Christine and Main represent the true patriots in our country–veterans and their supporters who have the courage to stand up to the Bush military machine. I greatly encourage everybody to spread the word about this unique memorial wall and to request that it be displayed in their community!

For more information about the Veterans for Peace, Sacramento Chapter, call (916) 320-6430 or (916) 996-9170.

DAN BACHER can be reached at: danielbacher@hotmail.com

 

More articles by:

Dan Bacher is an environmental journalist in Sacramento. He can be reached at: Dan Bacher danielbacher@fishsniffer.com.

September 24, 2018
Jonathan Cook
Hiding in Plain Sight: Why We Cannot See the System Destroying Us
Gary Leupp
All the Good News (Ignored by the Trump-Obsessed Media)
Robert Fisk
I Don’t See How a Palestinian State Can Ever Happen
Barry Brown
Pot as Political Speech
Lara Merling
Puerto Rico’s Colonial Legacy and Its Continuing Economic Troubles
Patrick Cockburn
Iraq’s Prime Ministers Come and Go, But the Stalemate Remains
William Blum
The New Iraq WMD: Russian Interference in US Elections
Julian Vigo
The UK’s Snoopers’ Charter Has Been Dealt a Serious Blow
Joseph Matten
Why Did Global Economic Performance Deteriorate in the 1970s?
Zhivko Illeieff
The Millennial Label: Distinguishing Facts from Fiction
Thomas Hon Wing Polin – Gerry Brown
Xinjiang : The New Great Game
Binoy Kampmark
Casting Kavanaugh: The Trump Supreme Court Drama
Max Wilbert
Blue Angels: the Naked Face of Empire
Weekend Edition
September 21, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Hurricane Florence and 9.7 Million Pigs
Andrew Levine
Israel’s Anti-Semitism Smear Campaign
Paul Street
Laquan McDonald is Being Tried for His Own Racist Murder
Brad Evans
What Does It Mean to Celebrate International Peace Day?
Nick Pemberton
With or Without Kavanaugh, The United States Is Anti-Choice
Jim Kavanagh
“Taxpayer Money” Threatens Medicare-for-All (And Every Other Social Program)
Jonathan Cook
Palestine: The Testbed for Trump’s Plan to Tear up the Rules-Based International Order
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: the Chickenhawks Have Finally Come Back Home to Roost!
David Rosen
As the Capitalist World Turns: From Empire to Imperialism to Globalization?
Jonah Raskin
Green Capitalism Rears Its Head at Global Climate Action Summit
James Munson
On Climate, the Centrists are the Deplorables
Robert Hunziker
Is Paris 2015 Already Underwater?
Arshad Khan
Will Their Ever be Justice for Rohingya Muslims?
Jill Richardson
Why Women Don’t Report Sexual Assault
Dave Clennon
A Victory for Historical Accuracy and the Peace Movement: Not One Emmy for Ken Burns and “The Vietnam War”
W. T. Whitney
US Harasses Cuba Amid Mysterious Circumstances
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
Things That Make Sports Fans Uncomfortable
George Capaccio
Iran: “Snapping Back” Sanctions and the Threat of War
Kenneth Surin
Brexit is Coming, But Which Will It Be?
Louis Proyect
Moore’s “Fahrenheit 11/9”: Entertaining Film, Crappy Politics
Ramzy Baroud
Why Israel Demolishes: Khan Al-Ahmar as Representation of Greater Genocide
Ben Dangl
The Zapatistas’ Dignified Rage: Revolutionary Theories and Anticapitalist Dreams of Subcommandante Marcos
Ron Jacobs
Faith, Madness, or Death
Bill Glahn
Crime Comes Knocking
Terry Heaton
Pat Robertson’s Hurricane “Miracle”
Dave Lindorff
In Montgomery County PA, It’s Often a Jury of White People
Louis Yako
From Citizens to Customers: the Corporate Customer Service Culture in America 
William Boardman
The Shame of Dianne Feinstein, the Courage of Christine Blasey Ford 
Ernie Niemi
Logging and Climate Change: Oregon is Appalachia and Timber is Our Coal
Jessicah Pierre
Nike Says “Believe in Something,” But Can It Sacrifice Something, Too?
Paul Fitzgerald - Elizabeth Gould
Weaponized Dreams? The Curious Case of Robert Moss
Olivia Alperstein
An Environmental 9/11: the EPA’s Gutting of Methane Regulations
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail