Thursday, August 18, 2005
We definitely deserve some foot massages tonight! This afternoon, over 100 of us marched three miles from Camp Casey to the gate of President Bush's ranch in 90 degree heat, all to deliver hundreds of letters written by women to Laura Bush. Our marching group ranged from infants to octogenarians, and was led by some really gutsy moms.
Despite the heat (and I know we keep talking about the heat, but man it's hot!!), we were totally energized by our goal. As we walked along singing "This Land is Our Land" and "God Bless America," we couldn't fathom that we were about to do what no one had done before: march up the entrance of the President's ranch, special delivery in hand, without shots being fired. But we definitely did not expect what was there waiting for us... emerging from behind the beefy Secret Service agents was a Bush staffer ready to personally accept our letters to the First Lady!
Medea Benjamin of CODEPINK and Mimi Evans, whose son is about to deploy, presented baskets full of letters to Bill Burke just outside the Bush ranch. The two mothers and peace activists reiterated our appeal to Mrs. Bush to persuade her husband to end the war in Iraq. Mimi implored, "From one mother to another, we ask Mrs. Bush to help us bring our children home safe and sound." Mr. Burke was very kind, saying, "It is an honor to receive these letters from you. I will make sure they get to the First Lady." Medea added afterwards, "Mr. Burke, thank you for being so gentlemanly and respectful and coming out to meet with us" (as in, "coming out to meet with mothers is the gentlemanly and respectful thing to do".)
Hundreds of women sent in letters to through the website and the e-mail address (email@example.com), and we are so grateful. Medea and I spent this afternoon before the march reading through some of them, and so many moved us to tears. You wrote beautifully about your love for your children and your desire to protect all children from harm. If you didn't get a chance to send one today, please take a moment to write one soon-- we are thinking of publishing a book of these letters titled, "Dear Laura: Women's Letters to End the War."
Photograph by Emily Sharpe, copyright 2005.