In our corner of the globe, Mother’s Day arrives at the same time as spring’s most exhuberant bursting forth. The further north one lives, the more dramatic the show. Here the greening and flowering and radiant spring light seem to transform our world overnight. So much promise. It takes an act of will to stop ourselves long enough to look back and recall the dark months of the past.
The war in Iraq is now in its sixth year with the future of the country and its people as indistinct as ever. As our troops prepare for an eventual withdrawal, sectarian violence appears to be on the rise. And, without having had a clear mission for our invasion of Iraq in 2003, it is difficult to measure the effect of our presence in ways other than citing grim casualty statistics.
The mission of The Mother’s Day Project is to encourage a focus that extends beyond those statistics. Yes, we have focused our attention on female casualties, but every man, woman and child who has died, and those who are still dying in Iraq, belong to us.
The worst crime we can commit is the crime of forgetting. We stitch letters which become names which become pictures and stories and connections to the sons and daughters and mothers and fathers that are no different from ourselves. We stitch together the young woman from Iowa who dies trying to help the men and women of Diyala Province in Iraq and know we are all the same.
Despite this season’s happy amnesia, we remember.