[HCCN] Cost of War

Judy_Robbins Judy at RobbinsAndRobbins.com
Fri Oct 30 11:09:08 EDT 2015

For those who may not see the Blue Hill Weekly Packet, here are links to their coverage of the Field of Flags:
http://weeklypacket.com <http://weeklypacket.com/>  
https://penobscotbaypress.com/multimedia/gallery/2015/oct/29/a-final-clearing-of-the-field-of-flags/#.VjNwNYQ0fe4 <https://penobscotbaypress.com/multimedia/gallery/2015/oct/29/a-final-clearing-of-the-field-of-flags/#.VjNwNYQ0fe4>

Statement of Veterans for Peace urging US exit from wars and military actions abroad:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9w2vzPfjjBU <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9w2vzPfjjBU>

Link to Peter Robbins’ photos from October 24th: https://www.flickr.com/photos/59433007@N03/sets/72157660129880520/with/22606465275/ <https://www.flickr.com/photos/59433007@N03/sets/72157660129880520/with/22606465275/>

Letter published in October 29 Weekly Packet about Field of Flags:
To the editor:

 The field of small white flags in Blue Hill, known as the War Dead Memorial, was dismantled over the weekend of October 24. Some participants were there for the first time, and many had been participating in this annual event for 11 years. We have watched the project, which was designed in 2005 by Peninsula Peace & Justice to illustrate the cost in human lives of US wars, grow from hundreds of white flags to almost 7000. The sign that has stood in the field reads “In this place we remember those lives lost in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq – 6866 US soldiers and over 1.4 million civilians.”

 This year’s fall gathering was different in that it is the last time the flags will be removed from the field. The flags will not return, nor the sign, but trees and flowers planted each summer over the years will remain, along with our footsteps, our thoughts and prayers. Anne Ferrara of Brooksville has sometimes invoked a Mexican proverb: “They say each person has three deaths – the first when the body dies, the second when they are buried, and the third when they are forgotten.” A fervent purpose of the field of flags has been to make sure the victims of war—whether soldiers killed in combat or by suicide, Afghani mothers and elders killed by drones, or orphaned Iraqi children--are not forgotten. Each death is forever a loss to a family, to a town; each death decreases the possibility of peace.

 The fact that there are no longer flags in the Blue Hill field in no way signifies that the wars are coming to an end, that soldiers are no longer being sacrificed and civilians blown up as “collateral”, that violent military incursions are no longer the chosen response to international conflicts. Our own country continues to sow destruction in the Middle East, to supply weaponry and war funds, and to threaten other nations worldwide. Families and whole communities are fleeing their homes by the thousands to avoid violence and chaos, and where will they turn?

 If we accept the responsibility to not turn our heads and look away, each of us who drives by the field will continue to see the ghosts of those flags and to remember and to stand up in some way for an end to war.  

Judy Robbins, Sedgwick, Maine

Peninsula Peace & Justice
P.O. Box 1515
Blue Hill ME 04614
judy at robbinsandrobbins.com
www.facebook.com/Peninsula.Peace.and.Justice <http://www.facebook.com/Peninsula.Peace.and.Justice>
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