Comments by Mikal Hutto

Submitted by Bill Crosier on January 21, 2007 - 1:41pm. :: | | | |

Memorial for Casualties of the Iraq War
January 14, 2007

Thousands Dead, Thousands More Picking Up the Pieces

We are all here to honor these fallen U.S. Military Personnel, Iraqi and civilians from all over the world that have died as a result of the Iraq war. You may be wondering why we chose to honor ALL people who have died in this war. There are many reasons that this should be done. It’s important that as human beings we memorialize this great loss of humanity to the world. It is important that as human beings we realize the toll that war takes on this entire world for generations to come. It is important because until human beings acknowledge the total losses, we will continue to spend the lives of valuable human beings trying to conquer one another in a futile bid for everlasting power. It is important because histories of wars are often untold, rewritten, or forgotten, and so the lessons are not learned by future generations.

When we say three thousand, six hundred thousand or even six hundred do we really comprehend the huge black hole in the world that results from these deaths? The number of deaths of American soldiers in Iraq has now surpassed the figure of those lost on 9/11. We were horrified by those deaths, yet it occurs to me that the deaths of all people in Iraq have been minimized and are consigned to mere statistics. We are not horrified. We are not devastated. We accept it because we are told it is necessary? Some even claim we must sacrifice more lives so these deaths in Iraq are not in vain. What does that mean? Do you know what this means? I do not. When I hear someone say this, it does not ring true in any cognitive way. Why will more deaths validate those who were so violently taken away from us? Do MORE deaths lessen the pain or loss of those who have died? I do not believe that those that have died will be shamed by Americans deciding that they are tired of killing and being killed. I do not believe that those who have died will suffer shame if Americans decide that the loss is just too great to continue this war. I do not believe that those who have died will be diminished by people in America standing up to their government and demanding accountability for what they have done IN OUR NAME and at the expense of the lives of our children, brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers by the THOUSANDS.

Does the world comprehend what the real result of war is? Is there any true way to calculate what we will miss now that these human beings are gone forever? Maybe one of these young people would have discovered a cure for cancer. Any one of these people may have had the key to the universe locked in their brain; waiting to be released by maturity and experience in life that now they will never know. Possibly we have put an end to the life of a human being that could have taught the world how to learn to resist the manipulations of powerful men, and solve differences in a peaceful way instead of allowing ourselves to be led into the abyss of war.

One soldier of many valuable young people lost in this war, Emily J.T. Perez, 23 years old, the daughter of a military family, born in Germany graduated at the top of her class in high school, a West Point graduate and the first minority female command sergeant in the history of the of the U.S. Military Academy.

But her REAL accomplishments were evidenced by her compassion and love for mankind. While she was STILL in high school Emily Perez started an HIV-AIDS ministry to help teenagers in her community deal with the stigma and depression of AIDS. Emily died Sept 27, 2006 when a roadside bomb exploded underneath her humvee near Najaf, Iraq.

I only bring up Emily Perez as an example of this huge loss, we have suffered. In reality each and every person that died in Iraq was important to America and the world.
Society has a huge gaping hole in it due to these losses. Not only have thousands of children lost their parents, but thousands of parents have lost their children. Each family has parents, siblings, aunts, cousins, friends that have been harmed. The survivors have all lost the love and support of someone irreplaceable to them.

My father died when I was a child. I can tell you from experience a family never recovers from that kind of loss. You may go on, and you will survive but nothing is ever as it was, and the potential for harm to come to those children is hugely magnified when they have lost a mother or father. I’ve heard it said by people that a child should never die before a parent, and that there is no greater loss or sharper pain. I can tell you from experience losing a parent when you are a young child is devastating. Not only have you lost one that guides you. You have lost your innocence. From then on you know just how vulnerable you are, and you speak a little quieter, and believe a little less in the goodness of this world. Thousands upon thousands of those that have died in Iraq were parents of young children. These children will grow up with a bitter heart against those who caused the death of their parents. Thousands of men and women have lost their children and they too will continue their lives with bitterness and a lack of trust towards those they hold responsible for the deaths of their children. It is not just ONE generation that will suffer, for these insecurities and this anger and confusion follows them all their lives and influences how they raise THEIR children. The cycle goes on and on.

Those of us left behind to pick up the pieces, have to cope with this loss and this prejudice, hatred and anger. It is a vicious cycle of anger, revenge and the dehumanizing of those we all perceive to be our enemy. We have to have someone to blame for these violent and unnatural deaths. It is human and natural to look for the ones who have caused your lifelong pain and to want them to pay for it. Yes, lifelong pain. Losing someone you love in a sudden and violent way, leaves a bloody wound in your heart that may eventually stop bleeding but never really heals. Visions of their last moments, alone, in horrible pain knowing they are dying haunt you forever. Those picking up the pieces never got to say goodbye, or tell their loved one, they treasured them one last time. It is unnatural, unnecessary and unconscionable that human beings are still killing each other in wars perpetrated by governments.

Looking at all these flags, symbols of living, breathing human beings that were once walking among us, smiling, laughing, crying, and touching the souls of all those they came into contact with is devastating. Yesterday when I was helping put these flags down I was in a terrible mood and it was hard to maintain the energy necessary to keep going. I thought it was because I was physically tired. After I went home and lie down in my bed, trying to relax, I realized it had nothing to do with being tired. I was horribly upset at the devastation and the HUGE numbers of vital people lost to us forever. We can’t get them back. They cannot be recalled. We cannot change this horrible history. We are all part of it no matter how we try to divorce ourselves from it. It will always be with us.

My son is still alive, yet he feels guilty for being alive because he went to Iraq and came home unharmed. Unharmed? Feeling guilty for just being alive is not unharmed. Witnessing the deaths of thousands of other human beings is not unharmed. We are ALL harmed. We are ALL immeasurably harmed. We are harmed just by being desensitized to death and destruction. We are harmed by the loss of these people that are gone forever. People that never got a chance to contribute never got a chance to do good works. People that we will never get a chance to embrace or discuss our differences with. People that leave behind a circle of friends and family that now are hurt, angry, forlorn and some of who will want to extract revenge.

There have been times when I was wearing my Military Families Speak Out tee shirt to various events; people have come up to me and asked me if my son was dead, while he was in Iraq. My heart stops, and I have to say, “I don’t know. I hope not.”

This is such a horrible feeling, not knowing if your son is alive or dead from day to day.
I can’t even explain to you what this feels like. It is torturous. No one should have to go through this.

I need to talk about the Iraqi that have lost their lives, yet I do not know them. I do know some Iraqi Americans that have had to sit and watch their country and hundreds of thousands of their citizens being annihilated and turned into a nation of frightened, confused and sometimes violent people due to the violence perpetrated upon their country. Will this country EVER recover? Will a nation of people that LOVED Americans ever think well of us again? How many orphans and injured children does this country have to take care of? How will they manage? Their entire lives are gone, their jobs, their homes. Can we even imagine this? What can we do to repair this?
Not much. Money won’t buy them back their loved ones. Money won’t buy them back their arms and legs. Money won’t buy them back their homes.

So many Iraqi have been killed over 600,000. Does anyone here really believe that many Iraqi were enemies of America, or do you believe they were killed mostly because Americans are unable to determine who the enemy is? Have they been killed because the balance in their country was skewed by war and bad people took over and started killing those they feel are dangerous to them, or for power?

It is time America realized that we do not have the answers to all the problems in this world and we do not understand the culture of the Mid East. It is time Americans called in these bad men that are determined to rule the world. It is time that every person that signed off on PNAC is NAMED and should be recognized for their ruthless determination to kill off as many people as necessary to gain control of the riches of the world. It is time to realize that their claims to want to spread “Democracy” are false and only the excuse they use to invade countries for the sole purpose of obtaining control and they do not care how many have to die to accomplish these goals.