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To the Editor:
Six years after our first installation on the State House lawn, when the war was just two and a half years old, our casualty count was only 1,912, to now when we count 4,483 official U.S. military deaths in Iraq, the U.S. is finally leaving Iraq.
The Iraq war is “officially” over and U.S. troops are being brought home.
We have taken down the Iraq Memorial on Route 100. The site is being transformed into productive agriculture fields by Yestermorrow. With topsoil left by the floodwaters this field will soon be rehabilitated.
So on this Veterans Day it was fitting to retire a living memorial to those that have given their lives. This memorial was but a meager attempt to bear witness to our brothers and sisters who gave their lives. It was intended to simply provide a visual context to the price that was being paid, by them and by us.
The silent memorial spoke volumes. Schoolchildren tracked the numbers on their daily rides, visitors from wide and far stopped, photographed and fell silent for a few moments of reflection, soaking in the magnitude of the tears, the pain and the loss. Mementos arrived, pictures, poems, stories, songs, flowers, flags.
It made you think, it made you feel.
We are now entering a new phase with this war behind us. Let’s hope we have all learned.
As the bumper sticker says “I already don’t like the next war.”