View Full Version : Name Withheld Pending Notification

05-08-2005, 07:13 PM
Name Withheld Pending Notification

By Cindy Sheehan

05/08/05 "ICH (http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/)" - - When I woke up this morning, the "official" death count in Iraq was 1576. The first thing I do in the morning after I boot up my computer is to check the DoD website to see if any more of our nation's precious children were killed in this horror of a nonsensical war. I was talking to another Gold Star Mom, Celeste Zappala, today and she sadly advised me that the count rose to 1579 (note: the official count is now 1594) while she was out to lunch.

Celeste and I and too many other moms know what the significance of "Pending Notification" means: it means that there are people in our country going through their lives right now not even knowing that they are about to be ambushed with the most devastating news of their lives: "We regret to inform you…"

Somewhere in America, there is a mom (I always think of the moms first) shopping for groceries, driving home from a long week of work, or maybe even planning her soldier's homecoming party. Somewhere, here in our country there is a mother who is hoping that she will receive a Mother's Day card from her soldier, or perhaps, if she is extremely lucky, a rushed telephone call. There is a mom out there who has been worried sick about her soldier since they arrived in the combat zone. Maybe the mom still supports George Bush and the occupation or maybe the mom is certain if her child is killed in this abomination that her sweet baby, her soldier will have died for lies and betrayals. In the end, and at that moment, the mom is not going to care about politics or about reasons for invasion and occupation. She won't care if her child died for freedom and democracy, or to make some people wealthier and more powerful. All she will see is the Grim Reaper in a uniform standing at her door before she collapses on the floor screaming for her child and pleading with the Grim Reaper to take her with him.

Somewhere there is a father in America who won't know what hit him and who won't know whom to hit back. There are brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, spouses, and children who are about to step on the path of unbearable pain and seemingly endless grief. Today there are the families and friends of three wonderful human beings who never, until now, knew that the human body could produce so many tears. Somewhere in America live our fellow citizens who never even knew that a broken heart is not theoretical or symbolic. These most unfortunates are about to find out that a broken heart hurts far worse than a broken limb, and does not heal so readily, if ever at all.

The families of these soldiers are also departing on a long tour of banalities uttered by well-meaning, but let’s face it, uninformed people. I hear these phrases over and over again: “Time heals every thing,” “Casey’s in a better place,” (oh really, I didn’t know that home with his mom was such a bad place to be) “Casey wants you to be happy,” “Casey died doing what he loved doing,” (he did?) or, my favorite, “Casey died defending his country.” Let me assure the reader, phrases like this do not help. They are clichés for one thing, and for another, none of them are true. None of them help a grieving family. If you, the reader, are ever in the situation facing a mom who had her son brutally murdered, God forbid, I will give you hints on what does help: hugs (lots and lots), make sure she eats, make sure she drinks plenty of water (tears are dehydrating), make sure she hears wonderful things about her child, bring boxes of tissues and toilet paper, and bring yourself. Leave your tired and impotent clichés at the door.

Of course, the most tragic thing about the 1579 is that not even one should be dead. Our "president" cheerfully rushed this country into a needlessly horrendous and devastating invasion. Our "president" thinks stolen elections confer a mandate. Our Congress cheerfully relinquished their Constitutional responsibility to declare war. If they had any courage or honor they would claim that right back and end this travesty. I have a feeling our mis-leaders will be having a nice day with their moms or their children on Mother's Day. As they are eating their brunches and giving and receiving bouquets of Mother's Day flowers, they probably never even think about the moms in this world that their insanely reckless policies have destroyed. It never enters their wicked brains that they have ruined Mother's Day for so many families. This is a tragedy.

Our media was, and still is, a willing shill for the Administration and has never told the American public the truth. Reporting about Iraq is always trumped by such as child molesters, Martha Stewart, Terri Schiavo, Scott Peterson, the American Idol, or now, Runaway Brides! Another tragic thing about this illegal and disastrous invasion and occupation is that there are only 1579 families in this country who even have to think about Iraq. Most Americans probably don't even know where to find Iraq on a map. The Halliburtons, Bechtels, KBRs, and the oil oligarchs of the world, who are laughing all the way to the bank, think of Iraq with greedy glee each day. Sorrowfully, there are 1579 families in this country who have "Iraq" carved on their hearts and souls for eternity. We have sacrificed more than the $1.99 it costs to buy a "Support the Troops" magnet for our cars. We have had a violent amputation. Even if our fellow citizens don't realize it, by allowing this occupation to continue, they are also losing a very important part of themselves: their humanity.

My heart, my prayers, and my love go to the three families who are now embarking on this mournful, unnecessary journey. We at Gold Star Families for Peace are here for them. I hope they find comfort in what I know now seems like a comfortless world. Peace.

Cindy Sheehan is a co-founder of Gold Star Families for Peace. Her son was killed in Iraq on April 4th, 2004. [ email - Scindy121@aol.com ]