12 June 2006

General Notes Part 3




M
y hotel here at the Convention is right across the street from the capitol building. Today, there are 2492 pairs of boots on the lawn in front of the capitol. Each pair of boots is labeled with the name of a soldier who had died in the Iraq war. They are in rows and separated according to which state they were from. it is an incredible sight, and it halted me as i was walking from the convention center to my hotel for lunch. The boots stretch across the whole lawn, and it is easy to imagine each pair of boots filled with the feet of soldiers, standing en masse -- the dead of this war. It was so overwhelming. Read about the project, called Eyes Wide Open, here.

Since we Episcopalians are here from every state (and many other countries), we can find our own state's section of boots and walk through the maze and read the names. Many people have placed flowers in certain pairs of boots; some have placed pictures or notes. In the middle, there is another group of shoes, representing Iraqi civilians who have lost their lives. These shoes are also overwhelming, since there are many pairs of shoes for the very very young and the very old. The soldiers shoes are almost all my age -- these were my classmates, my friends in childhood. They are the friends of my husband and the friends of our friends and families. And there were so, so many.

As I left the lawn in tears, I came across a
demonstration for worker's rights and fair salaries in front of the mall attached to my hotel. The carpenters and laborers are demonstrating at several places in town against poor wages for construction-related labor. As I sit here in my room now reading over legislation and eating my cheese sandwich, I have felt more than in 2000 or 2003 a deep connection to the goings-on of the place where we are. The more we can be aware the better. Otherwise, we're just another convention, doing business.

3 Comments:

Blogger TheCrowdBelow said...

Beautiful, S. Thanks for the post. I'll tell the people I see at CDSP.

1:35 PM  
Blogger mikey said...

great photos sarah. did you take them yourself? keep the photos coming. try to get someone to take some of you too. love your posts. wish i was there with you.

2:35 PM  
Blogger Patrick said...

Thanks for posting all this stuff about GC. I'm looking forward to reading about the adventures of the Convention. Keep us updated!

6:52 PM  

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