Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Article Stats
1 comment

OpEdNews Op Eds

Even cowardice speaks

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

When Molly Haglund and her college classmates were planting 1026 stakes in the campus quadrangle, they didn 't expect that their act would wind up on the front page of the Boston Globe. That is what happened --with some help from vandals.

The Portland (OR) sophomore, her associate Sarah Fontaine and a group of two dozen students at Holy Cross College in Worcester, Massachusetts, had a simple goal: memorialize those who have been killed in Iraq and start campus dialogue about the war. They painted 26 stakes white, one for each 100 American soldiers killed, and 1000 green, one for each 100 Iraqi victims. (The toll of Iraqi deaths is hard to determine; the British medical journal, The Lancet, estimates the number at 100,000.) They hammered the stakes into the lawn with the permission of college administrators and after having taken full responsibility for the display in a campus-wide email.

"We chose the quadrangle in front of the cafeteria, " says Molly, "because we wanted students to talk about the issue over a meal. " Students did talk, in the cafeteria and in classes, but real dialogue didn 't get going until 48 hours later, after campus police wakened Molly to report that vandals, covering their cowardice under nightfall, had uprooted the stakes. Not the white stakes, she discovered; just the green ones.

"What were they trying to say? " asks the Central Catholic High School graduate. "That Iraqi lives are less important than American lives? " Molly and Sarah decided to leave the green stakes strewn around the lawn. Another student, evidently disheartened by the vandalism and figuring that she could make an even more powerful symbol of the commonality of Americans and Iraqis in futile killing and death, uprooted the white stakes as well.

The women also arranged for a forum and a panel of students and professors to air issues. Molly reports, "The silence on campus about the war these last couple of years had been deafening. At the forum we asked why that is so and how in the future we can carry on dialogue about something so big as this war. "

Molly 's own opinion is that the silence had to do with the absence of a draft, the inability of the media to report the whole tragedy of chaos and death, and the fact that "we live in bubbles and behind gates, absorbed in our own little worlds.


Whatever the reason, at Holy Cross College dialogue is finally beginning. Molly and Sarah hope that the discussion, which has until now swirled about the display and how to foster civic and civil debate, will turn to questions about the war itself. It is just possible that their courageous deed, magnified ironically by an act of cowardice, might help spark national debate about the question Molly and Sarah hung over the display and posted on their email: "How many more? "

 

http://www.parkersgreenboard.com

James Parker has retired from careers as a professor of theology and as a public relations officer for a research institution.
Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Even cowardice speaks

Democrats and the Land of Opportunity

A Hail Mary pass, Karl Rove

King George and King Henry

The Real Fear of Flying

A Man for our Times

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
1 people are discussing this page, with 1 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

So let me see: there were 26 white polls and 1000... by Mark Sashine on Tuesday, Apr 11, 2006 at 9:53:50 AM