October 09, 2006

Boot Display: Protesting The Cost Of War

--Colorado Springs refuses to support the Boot Display:
The Colorado Springs City Council won't offer its support of a national touring memorial to American soldiers killed in Iraq when it makes a stop in this city later this week, saying it undermines the war there.
. . .
City Council members last month rejected a resolution in support of the memorial. The resolution would have waived the costs for police and use of a park for the exhibit and declared Oct. 12 and 13 as days of reflection on the human cost of the war.

"To me, the cost of war is 3,000 lives lost in New York (on Sept. 11, 2001), lives being lost around the world to terrorists," said Mayor Lionel Rivera. "I would much rather work toward the safety of citizens around the world by defeating terrorism than cutting and running out of Iraq."

The Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission, one of four groups that paid $20,000 to bring the exhibit to the city, accused the council of trying to conceal the true costs of the war. Exhibit co-creator Michael McConnell said he cannot remember a town that opposed it as strongly as Colorado Springs, home to Fort Carson, Peterson Air Force Base and other military installations.
. . .
Relatives of about 30 soldiers have requested organizers to remove tags that are accompanied with the boots bearing their names. Among them is Melissa Givens of Fountain, whose husband, Jesse, was the first Fort Carson casualty in the war.

Givens said she would like to see an end to the fighting in Iraq, but said her husband went there to prevent terrorists from attacking America.

"That's fine if that's what you believe in, but that's not what my husband believed in," she said of the memorial. "But for you to use his death to make a statement is wrong."
It is nice to see a city and relatives of veterans arguing against the misappropriation of soldiers' identities and personal tragedies for a political agenda they most likely opposed. Like Cindy Sheehan's desecration of her son's own views, those opposed to the war make constant use of the soldiers to prove some political point, just as in this case they use the deaths of American soldiers symbolized by empty boots, to justify their view that the war is unnecessary. Illustrating the cost of fighting those who would take our freedoms, subject us to violence, and destroy our way of life is important--we all note the heavy costs associated with ridding the world of evil (think WWII). But doing so in order to make the cost seem insignificant or pointless, debases those who believed it was necessary to fight. You can't reason with evil, and our enemies only hope that more in the West succomb to maudlin displays like this, and choose to appease rather than fight.

In Civic Center park until Wednesday:
More than 2,700 pairs of combat boots displayed at Civic Center are part of an exhibit that represents the number of American troops who have died in Iraq.

The exhibition is called "Eyes Wide Open: The Human Cost of War."

The display also has civilian shoes representing the number of Iraqi citizens who have died since the war began three years ago.

More than 250 local volunteers are working to set up the exhibition, which runs through Wednesday. It is sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee.
The AFSC, Quaker peace activists, have a video on the left side of their main page, "Wage Peace Movie", a slideshow of names and images intended to help bring an end to the war by "waging peace". Tell that to the victims of terrorism, or the crazy jihadists who secretly love these "useful idiots" and their naive "peace" campaigns.


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