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Sunday, January 28, 2007

Field of shattered dreams

A student organization here on campus has tried to give us a visual of death-by-warfare in Iraq. More than three thousand American, more than six hundred fifty thousand Iraqis. They chose pin flags, of the kind I used to see all over the place when I worked in the woods, usually as what we called "plot centers." The red flags are the Americans, the white flags are the Iraqis, mostly "collateral damage." But there wasn't enough money to place one flag per person. So they are still looking for funds to buy more white flags, but at present one white flag represents six Iraqis, which could be taken to mean one American is worth six Iraqis, but that isn't the intent.

The result is stunning anyway.

The "cemetery" covers all of the quad in front of the Library, and right around the corner to the Student Union, or about three acres. It would take about fifteen acres to display one flag per person. When I rolled out, in my wheelchair, to have a look, I just wept like a baby, as have many others.

The display will remain up for two weeks, and then may travel to other sites. It's well worth a visit.

--risa b


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