Peace activitist Cindy Sheehan who became the public face of protest against the war in Iraq has decided to call it quits. Sheehan’s son, Army Spc. Casey Sheehan was killed in an ambush in Baghdad in 2004. He was 24 years old. Soon after, his mother spent a month waiting outside President Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas for a meeting with him to discuss her son’s death. The meeting never took place, but the vigil launched Sheehan into the spotlight where she remained until now.
The most devastating conclusion that I reached this morning, however, was that Casey did indeed die for nothing. His precious lifeblood drained out in a country far away from his family who loves him, killed by his own country which is beholden to and run by a war machine that even controls what we think. I have tried ever since he died to make his sacrifice meaningful. Casey died for a country which cares more about who will be the next American Idol than how many people will be killed in the next few months while Democrats and Republicans play politics with human lives. It is so painful to me to know that I bought into this system for so many years and Casey paid the price for that allegiance. I failed my boy and that hurts the most.
My heart goes out to her. Of all the players in this disasterous war, I have always thought that Sheehan represented the unassailable. I often think of the parents of the soldiers in Iraq. How worried they must be, all the time, for their child’s safety. How their hearts must race whenever someone knocks unexpectedly at the door or the phone rings at an off hour.
Now she’s headed home to California where it sounds like she’ll spend time with her family and friends. I wish her peace in her heart and am grateful for the peace she fought for in the world.