Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Craft Blogging- A New Low

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I'm sure this picture looks like one big red blob, but it's really Buddy Poppies. Kind of like the ones the veterans distribute on street corners, but with a difference. In the center of each poppy is a picture, and underneath the flower is a tag with a name and date on it. These are the men and women from Illinois who have come home forever from the Long War. These are the flowers that will go in my heartbreaking garden, which I will submit as a poppy display in April, and then again in June at the VF*nW State Convention.

I started this in August, checking numerous sites for Illinois veterans that had been lost, and collecting heir pictures. So far there are one hundred.
There's SGT Jeannette Winters, the first one; as I remember, her family's home was broken into during her funeral.
SGT Jacob Frazier stares out of his picture as though flirting,a gorgeous young man. He's been gone from us for three years now.
SPC Brian Romines looks lost in thought, his fist to his face, until you realize that hand grips a shoulder in embrace.
Pfc Collier Barcus is pure mischief in his white cowboy hat.
SGT Landis Garrison made it as far as a plane in Kuwait when his MP unit was redeployed back to Iraq at the height of the Abu Ghraib scandal.

I know all of their names, and by now I know most of their faces too. Some pictures are from high school, some from basic- I know firsthand from my living room wall how the boy in the basic training picture looks nothing like the soldier who goes to war. Others are in their battle rattle, still more looking at the camera in a random instant, caught off-guard.
Doing these displays have long since stopped being about winning; if I can make someone stop and think for minute, about what it means to serve, to sacrifice, that's good enough for me. If I make someone cry or feel the heartache of their families' loss, so much the better. I want people to remember. We all need to remember these kids, and remember why it is that they had to leave us.

I'll have more pictures as I start "planting" my flowers.

1 Comments:

At 3/01/2006, Anonymous shayna said...

Wow... I got chills. It's funny how someone we never have known can touch us so. See... I told you you have wings. Your garden is a wonderful idea!!!!

 

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