A speech by Cindy Sheehan of the Gold Star Families for Peace. Her son died in Iraq
Last year when you guys had your convention in Boston, my son had only been dead
a few months, and we were really honored because the Santa Barbara chapter took
my daughter's poem A Nation Rocked to Sleep, (and they did it again this year),
and I remember Michael Cervantes, he brought the booklet over to our house and
showed it to us, and I never dreamed in a year I'd be standing here in front of
you as one of the speakers at your convention, I never dreamed I'd be doing this
at all, but isn't it weird what life hands you.
I never heard about Veterans for until, I can tell you the exact day I heard
about VFP, it was May 4th, 2004, and my son had been dead exactly a month, and
I was watching CNN, and something came on, it was a report on Arlington West in
Santa Barbara, and we lived about 6 hours north of Santa Barbara, and it was the
May 4th before Mother's Day, which was May 8th, and VFP was going to put it up
on Sunday, every Sunday, so I called my husband and I said, "There's only one
place I want to be on Mother's Day this year, I want to be at Santa Barbara. I
want to go and see Arlington West."
When we went, the first time we went, there was a little over 700 crosses, now
there's over 1,800 crosses.
And I'm glad to hear everybody else's words, because somebody's gotta stop those
lying bastards. Somebody has to stop them.
I got an email yesterday - - If you guys heard I just had a story published that
talks about - - it's called Where Do I Live?, it talks about an Iranian-American
who got the shaft because a recruiter liked him, and the recruiter falsified his
paperwork, so he ended up in prison.
He's been in prison since November without due process.
Another mother whose son was found dead in Iraq, they told her that he died from
a drug overdose. Three months later, they got the toxicology report; no drugs.
She was devastated, she said, "I know my son, he did not do drugs." She was told
that her son's wife and his battle buddies said in a report that yes, her son
abused drugs in Iraq. But when she got that report it said categorically that
no, he did not abuse drugs. So how did her son die?
And then there's Kevin and Monica Benderman. Kevin did exactly the right thing
and got 15 months in prison. Whereas like Dahr said, the war criminals in Washington,
D.C., they don't even lose a night's sleep.
Then we have this lying bastard, George Bush, taking a 5-week vacation in a time
of war. You know what? I'm never going to get to enjoy another vacation, because
My vacation probably - -this is really sad because I have a really cute dress
I was going to wear to the banquet tomorrow night, but I'm either gonna be in
jail or in a tent in Crawford, waiting until that jerk comes out and tells me
why my son died.
Anyway, I got an email, I kinda got off track, a man emailed me yesterday, I
get contacted by all kinds of people with their stories, and he said Cindy, I
read everything you write, I read it on LewRockwell.com, he said, "I get tears
in my eyes, but today I cried real tears, and I screamed, because my dear sweet
nineteen ear-old cousin was killed in Iraq."
And he said, "Cindy, why didn't I save him? Why didn't I knock him out, why didn't
I take him to Canada?" and I wrote him back and I said, "You know what? We all
I said to my son not to go. I said, you know it's wrong, you know you're going
over there. You know your unit might have to kill innocent people, you know you
might die. And he says, "My buddies are going, I have to go." He said, "If I don't
go someone's going to have to do my job, and my buddies will be in danger."
So what really gets me is these chickenhawks, who sent our kids to die, without
ever serving in a war themselves. They don't know what it's all about.
30 of our bravest young men have already died this month, and it's only the 5th
of August. And the tragedy of the marines in Ohio is awful.
But do you guys remember back in March when we were having our 2nd year anniversary
of the invasion of Iraq which was pre-empted by Terry Schiavo, so that's all that
was on the news, not 5,000 of us in Fayetteville, Wolf Blitzer said it was insignificant,
but they put Terry Schiavo on, and I wrote something then called The Amazing Hypocrites
and I asked why does she deserve life more than my son, and the Iraqi people?
And more than the other people that this war has killed.
But do you think George Bush will interrupt his vacation and go visit the families
of those 20 marines that have died in Ohio this week? No, because he doesn't care,
he doesn't have a heart. That's not enough to stop his little playing cowboy'
game in Crawford for 5 weeks.
So, as you can imagine, the grieving parents who lost - - lost, I don't like
to use that word, whose child was murdered, it's extremely difficult, you can't
even get a small scab on our wound, because every day it rips open. Every day,
I don't know why I do it because I already know that war is ugly, I already know
that war is hard. But I open up the DOD site to see, who became an angel, while
I was sleeping.
And that rips my heart open, because I know there is another mother whose life
is going to be ruined that day. So we can't even begin to heal.
So anyway that filth-spewer and warmonger, George Bush was speaking after the
tragedy of the marines in Ohio, he said a couple things that outraged me.
Seriously outraged me.
And I know I don't look like I'm outraged, I'm always so calm and everything,
that's because if I started hitting something, I wouldn't stop til it was dead.
So I can't even start, cause I know how dangerous that would be, but George Bush
was talking, and he never mentioned the terrible incident of those marines, but
he did say, that the families of the ones who have been killed can rest assured
that their loved ones died for a noble cause.
And, he also said, he says this often, and this really drives me crazy, he said
that we have to stay in Iraq and complete the mission, to honor the sacrifices
of the ones who have fallen.
And I say, why should I want one more mother to go through what I've gone through,
because my son is dead. You know what, the only way he can honor my son's sacrifice
is to bring the rest of the troops home. To make my son's death count for peace
and love, and not war and hatred like he stands for. I don't want him using my
son's death or my family's sacrifice to continue the killing. I don't want him
to exploit the honor of my son and others to continue the killing. They sent these
honorable people to die, and are so dishonorable themselves.