SCREAMS by Melida Arredondo I can hear them. Can't you? The screams as she cries What more can she do? The pressure on her chest Just won't go away. Today, ends the year Her child's death day. The wife stands alone Her kids at her side Saying "Mom, what's wrong? Mr. is my Daddy alive?" The men dressed all nice One with a collar Do not explain all this death for a dollar Or oil or greed. They are not here to talk real They bring only news That cause the whole family to kneel. The Father grabs one man by his uniform in anger The other hold his arms To protect the GI from the stranger. Yet, this Father to him A stranger is not The GI looks into his tears and sees the eyes of his Pop. The words are not friendly Yet the pain fills all who love And lose their own family Due to bombs from above. I hear the endless screams They just won't go away... At least 3,000 are dead And no cause to celebrate On this last day of the year I desire so much more from my country and neighbors to unite against senseless war. Mélida Arredondo, www.peopleunited4peace.org Remember Lcpl Alexander S. Arredondo, USMC, 08/05/1984 - 08/25/04 "To stand in silence when they should be protesting makes cowards out of men" - Abe LincolnThe Arredondos know this scream firsthand:
Carlos Arredondo of Roslindale, MA, learned that his son Lcpl. Alexander Arredondo, USMC was killed in action on August 25, 2004, his 44th birthday. When advised of his son's death and due to anguish, grief and questionable protocol by the Casualty Assistance Team, he set fire to a US Marine van and himself in the process. These images were broadcast worldwide and resonated for many as the ultimate anguish of a father having lost his son in war. Carlos attended Alexander's wake and funeral on a stretcher despite his injuries. With the help of his wife and family, he recuperated from burns on 26% of his body and engaged in active counseling to recuperate from PTSD. As a part of his treatment, he reaches out to other families who have lost their family members. He currently is focusing on public speaking and preparing a media campaign to inform particularly Spanish speaking parents of the unethical recruitment methods used to target troops who come from divorced and low income backgrounds. Melida Arredondo of Roslindale, MA, drove home as quickly as she could when she found out that her stepson Alexander had been killed in action. When she turned onto her street, she witnessed a fire. She realized that there was something burning in front of her home. She saw Carlos writhing in pain as a US Marine sat on his back holding his arms. In the midst of the confusion, she remembers helicopters overhead, the sirens wailing, speaking to Brian (Alex's younger brother) on a cell phone and witnessed a van on fire just a few feet away from her. Melida, a lifelong peace and justice activist, was active in protesting the Gulf War while George H. Bush's was in office. Out of respect and love for her stepson, she told him that she was scared for him and did not believe in war. Yet, she told him she would not protest since she did not want him to believe she did not love and support him. Since Alex' death, Melida has written opinion pieces about the war in local Boston papers, is aiding Carlos in writing about his experiences and works at a community health center in Dorchester, Massachusetts.