Stan’s Obligatory Blog


Dead Men’s Shoes

Filed under: — stan @ 7:25 pm

Today at lunchtime I took a ride over to Memorial Park in Old Town Pasadena. The American Friends Service Committee is putting on an exhibit about the human cost of the war in Iraq. They had 1,519 pairs of boots laid out in the park, each with a name tag, representing the soldiers killed in the war. The concept is simple, much like the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in that the exhibit is just there. You are free to look at it and draw your own conclusions.

Seeing so many boots lined up across the park was impressive. It really makes the numbers tangible in much the same way as the time we saw the AIDS Quilt. Most of the boots had just a name tag, giving the soldier’s age and hometown. Others had pictures or other bits of memorabilia donated by their families. Alyssa Peterson’s had an essay that she had written in 5th grade on the meaning of patriotism. I saw a small memorial for Michael Pedersen donated by his mother, Lila Lipscomb. Lila is known for her appearance in “Fahrenheit 9/11″. A few of the boots had tags saying that they had their names withheld at the request of their families. There weren’t many of them.

In another section of the park, they had several thousand other shoes lined up to represent the Iraqis killed in the war, along with plates listing thousands of names of Iraqi civilians killed in the war.

The exhibit is going to be traveling around. The web page lists the dates and places. It’s worth a look.

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