Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Arlington Cemetary in a ditch by the side of a road

The day Cindy Sheehan, mother of soldier killed in Iraq, along with veterans and disabled veterans were made to walk in a ditch by the side of the road to their campsite destination is the day America may have noticed that there is a distinction to be made in the honor of our troops and their families and the dishonor of ficticious talking points. In an inauguration ceremony replete with our military regalia, did this President take his second oath of office to uphold the constitution of the United States of America. So much play on the military allegiance did the President make at his inauguration, yet now in August 2005, in an opportunity to dignify the true nobility of our military troops, their families and veterans, a little band of proud military Americans walked the ditch alongside the road, unable to step foot on the roadway on their way to meet with this same vacationing President. And this little band has been joined by the voices of military families, veterans, and an American public in ever-growing numbers.

A proud semblance of Arlington crosses was set up alongside the ditch, with the names of 1,000 soldiers who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan written upon them. A busload of flag waving Americans came with a cruel message to offer the campers. And when they finished their flurry of flag waving, chanting and struck at the heart of parents who lost their own loved ones in Iraq and Afghanistan, parents who were among us at our campsite, the busload of visitors placed their flags on the crosses. Many from that same busload left with tears and what had been an exercise in mockery became real to them, as they realized those crosses represent real people, some of whose very parents were among the campers. I hope our busload of guests left with a different sense of reality than the empty slogans with which they came. I hope a genuine moment of transformation occurred at our Arlington cemetary in the ditch by the side of the road.

Days later, the very day I left Camp Casey, in the night, one singular person took it upon himself to mow down the crosses of our Arlington cemetary in the ditch, as if it wasn't enough the symbology of 1,000 crosses in a ditch has to have struck a chord in the heart of Americans. Perhaps that one person can come to symbolize that the honor and dignity of our troops, their families, their sacrifices never did belong in a ditch by the side of the road a few miles down the street from our vacationing President. The symbology of our ditchside encampment, and our ditchside Arlington speaks volumes. I don't think America will leave our troops ditched as the swell of support grows hourly for Cindy Sheehan's vigil and I pray fervently that this President will come to have an appreciation for the symbology of the roadside ditch and do the honorable thing. If America is to ever save face in this fiasco of Iraq, may the cemetary in the ditch reflect how low we can fall and may the days ahead help us all to find our way back to honor, dignity and integrity. This is my prayer...... let your light so shine...

Lietta Ruger, military family who slept in a tent in a ditch by the side of the road in support of the message Cindy Sheehan has put forth


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