In the news this week has been a lot of hullabaloo about the public awareness and/or concern about the US presence in Iraq.
About a year ago, I made
The Iraq Memorial Quilt
(click on the title to see the faces on the quilt)
I actually thought I was doing something good.
The idea for the quilt came from the Vietnam wall. I thought to myself that seeing 58000+ names on marble obviously didn’t stop us from repeating the same mistake. So maybe something that showed the faces of those that died would make a difference. Maybe if people saw that these were real people, men and women of all races and ages, it would make a difference.
After all 60% of the American people want us out of Iraq and home by the end of the year.
What I found was it didn’t matter. People don’t care about Bush’s invasion in Iraq. Most people think it was wrong now and want us out of Iraq and to go after the real terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
I found that people didn’t like looking at the faces because it made them think about the war. It made them realize that these were actual people. It made them feel uncomfortable.
And instead of honoring those that died, it made many of their relatives uncomfortable because they had to face the way their loved one died.
I have never been a victim of hate before. So I was shocked at the hate mail I received over the quilt, mostly from military families.
Now I wouldn’t mind being called every 4 letter word in the book…it wouldn’t effect me. I can curse as good as anyone. No these emails were vicious, hateful, personal attacks that just shocked the s**t out of me and hurt me very deeply.
One military family member actually told me to “burn that rag!”
They don’t know how close I actually came to doing just that. Because not only did it hurt me, but it angered me that people didn’t care. It was like they didn’t want to know that these people were being blown to smithereens for no good reason.
They didn’t want to face the facts. And these pictures reminded them of the facts.
So at one point, I actually thought about making a bonfire out of the quilt and dancing wildly around it and filming the entire thing and putting it on You Tube. And I might have if not that it was promised for Display at a university.
But after that, I still might burn it. Because I cannot look at it or even work on it anymore. It hurts my heart and soul too much to be reminded of the vicious and hateful nature of people.
I am disappointed in the American people. I am disappointed in the politicians. I am disappointed but not surprised.
So, I ask all you CHBR’s: what do you think I should do with it?
I still say it is no longer good enough to just say “support our troops.” We MUST save our troops!