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.
"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.