Eyes Wide Open: A War Memorial

The American Friends Service Committee’s public memorial for US soldiers killed in Iraq, Eyes Wide Open, started in January 2004. At the time, 504 pairs of combat boots representing each US military death were displayed in a civic plaza in Chicago. As of this writing, there are now 1,516 pairs of boots being displayed in this traveling monument. Wherever the solemn display makes its appearance, people come to place flowers, photos and American flags among the boots. Seeing hundreds of boots lined up in neat rows brings home the anguish, pain, and loss suffered by US soldiers and their friends and families.

On March 19th, the second anniversary of the US invasion and occupation of Iraq, the memorial will be displayed in Los Angeles at the Westwood Federal Building (11000 Wilshire Blvd.), from Noon to 6 pm. A “Wall of Remembrance” is also part of the display, representing the tens of thousands of Iraqis who have so far perished in the conflagration.

People in LA can participate in the mass demonstration for peace scheduled for noon at the intersection of Hollywood & Vine, and then be present at the Eyes Wide Open memorial later in the day (there will also be a candle light vigil beginning at 6 pm). From LA the memorial travels to the Californian cities of Fresno, San Francisco, and the state capital of Sacramento, as well as Eugene and Portland Oregon, with stops in Seattle and Tacoma Washington. For more information on the project, including the dates and places of appearances, visit the Eyes Wide Open website.

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