Memorial Day Disconnect
Last Sunday I watched the Memorial Day Parade in Somerville with a bunch of my friends. It was a great excuse to get together with other families, have a barbeque and chill.
But as I was enjoying the high school bands playing their trumpets and flutes and the Shriners in their little cars, I couldn’t help but notice that there was a big disconnect between the spirit of celebration and the fact that there is a war going on.
This morning on my way to work, the guy who sells me the Times everyday told me that he had thought his son was coming home from Iraq soon, but recently the army has said he has to stay, with no return time in sight. He said there was a battle last night right near where his son is stationed and he was worried. I told him I’d be thinking about him today and he appreciated it, but I know that words aren’t really enough and I felt broken-hearted as I continued on my morning commute.
I often struggle between feeling immobilized when I pay attention to the war (and other world events) and wanting to ignore it all and just try to make my own life work.
One way I counteract this is by finding people who are doing something positive. I also look to women’s organizations as places where I can find hope and a feminist perspective.
To pull myself out of my slump, I went to my computer and pulled up the website for CODEPINK, CODEPINKALERT, co-founded by the Jewish woman Medea Benjamin. They are a “women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end the war in Iraq, stop new wars, and redirect our resources into healthcare, education and other life-affirming activities.” These are serious women, but they also have a sense of humor. They understand women’s power, and they offer different ways to plug into their anti-war efforts. I felt more hopeful, seeing that so many women are organizing in creative ways to end this war, and that I could find alternatives for myself to become involved that were time-limited and doable.
What do you do when you get swamped by the news? Do you have friends or family in Iraq? How do you feel about the war? Are you involved in any women’s peace organizations?