Support your local war memorial

I’m working on an address to our city council. I only have three minutes:

MemorialMr. Mayor, distinguished members of the City Council: as a member of the Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission, I’ve come once again on their behalf to ask the City Council for your support of the traveling Iraq War Memorial, known as Eyes Wide Open, which is coming to Colorado Springs on October 12 and 13.
Two weeks ago, at the previous opportunity to address the council, the Justice and Peace Commission asked for the use of Memorial Park as a fitting site for a memorial. We also asked the City of Colorado Springs to adopt a resolution similar to that of the City of Baltimore, proclaiming the two day visit as “Days of Reflection on the Human Cost of War.” To this day we’ve received no formal response from the council. I’m here today to repeat our requests.

Actually we did hear one reply from Councilman Bernie Herpin, a resounding no, because he considers any such memorial to be a blatant anti-war statement. I’d like to ask Mr. Herpin: do you have such little faith in the patriotism of the general public, in the wisdom of your constituents, that were they to reflect -on the many lives the war in Iraq has cost us- that you think they would automatically be against the war?

Do you consider it patriotic, and showing support for our troops, Mr. Herpin, to hide the Iraq War casualties from the sight and memory of their friends, neighbors and community? If the war in Iraq, or as you call it, the War on Terror, is indeed worth fighting, why do you want to conceal its cost from the people of Colorado Springs, the people who more than nearly any other community in the country, must bear the cost of this war? The cost being measured, in their lives, the lives of their loved ones, the lives of their friends and coworkers. This is to say nothing of the many more who are injured and maimed.

Are you afraid to let the people of Colorado Springs gaze upon the boots of 2,700 soldiers -only the official count of the US casualties in Iraq- boots that stretch across vast green fields, nearly to the horizon? One hundred and seventy pairs of those boots will correspond to the Fort Carson soldiers who’ve died in Iraq.

The latest count of soldiers wounded in Iraq according to the V.A. hospital system is over 40,000. If the ratio of US soldiers wounded to US soldiers killed in Iraq holds for Colorado Springs, by a terrible coincidence, the 2,700 pairs of boots that Colorado Springs residents will see on October 12 and 13 will also correspond to the number of Colorado Springs residents -Iraq War veterans- who now move about in wheelchairs and on prosthetic limbs.

Is this your way to show support for the troops? To keep their sacrifices unseen from their countrymen and their city? Why are you so quick to send them off, to fight a war on foreign soil, and so quick to hide the cost they’ve paid or will pay? The media networks aren’t even allowed to show their coffins on television! Why are you conspiring to keep a soldier’s most ultimate sacrifice a secret? -because you think the American people would not support your war?

If you are so gung-ho to have someone fight this war on terror, why don’t you do it yourself? You go over there and do it! And reflect, please, whether you want your effort to go seen or unseen. Otherwise please know that you can count on us, that if you pay the ultimate price to defend our freedom, that we intend to make sure the people of this country and this city see it and show their thanks. Good luck and bon voyage.

Please accord the people of Colorado Springs the respect of honoring their sacrifice. I’d like to see the proclamation we ask for in writing as soon as possible, or I’d like to see each of you fill out the Defense Department paperwork to enlist to go to Iraq yourself. Thank you.

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Eric Verlo

About Eric Verlo

On sabbatical
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2 Responses to Support your local war memorial

  1. Avatar Tony says:

    Check this site out! It contains lists of cities that have taken antiwar stances by passing resolutions. Well, today we just asked that the city of Colorado Springs ‘reflect on the costs of war’ today, and they shot us down. The mayor and city council said that was just too against what they stood for.

    Yes, they preached a sermon to us, that we were helping terrorism…. soft on the need to fight such. When I spoke up that our government was the terrorist, there was not a sound. No reply. Nothing to say. But they got to ‘reflect’ after all I think.

    Let’s see that they reflect on a monthly basis. We need to give them more proposed resolutions for them to reflect on, each and every open meeting they have. The city council here is not used to reflections of this sort, but rather just to rubber stamping Pentagon plans for the region. That needs to change. But only the people can do it and only by being active.

  2. csa csa says:

    Here’s the verbage for a Council Resolution concerning “Eyes Wide Open”, October 12 and 13, 2006:

    For the purpose of recognizing October 12 and 13, 2006 as Days of
    Reflection on the Human Cost of War as the American Friends Service
    Committee and the Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission shares with
    Colorado Springs the Eyes Wide Open Memorial.

    Whereas, The American Friends Service Committee and Pikes Peak
    Justice and Peace Commission is bringing Eyes Wide Open, a
    nationally-acclaimed memorial on the human cost of the Iraq War to
    Colorado Springs; and

    Whereas, 2,669 U.S. military personnel and as many as 130,000
    Iraqi civilians have lost their lives in the war; and

    Whereas, Tens of thousands of U.S. soldiers and Iraqis have been
    wounded in body and in spirit during the course of the war; and

    Whereas, 169 of our own from Fort Carson have died so far, and our
    troops will continue to be in harm’s way; and

    Whereas, Our consciences call upon us to find nonviolent means of
    preventing and resolving conflicts now and in the future; and

    Whereas, Public understanding of the profound human costs of war
    may strengthen the commitment to seek such solutions and avoid future

    Now, therefore, be it resolved by the City Council of Colorado
    Springs, That this Body recognizes October 12 and 13, 2006 as Days of
    Reflection on the Human Cost of War.

    And be it further resolved, That a copy of this Resolution be sent
    to the Mayor, the American Friends Committee, the Pikes Peak Justice and
    Peace Commission, and the City Manager.

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