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Cindy Sheehan: The Human Face of A Nation at War
This isn’t about politics, it’s about grief. It’s about a growing group of ordinary citizens trying to teach this callous cowboy how to care,even as he bikes away his worries while the families of the 46 soldiers killed in the month of August alone attend funerals.
By Lilian Friedberg
One sorely neglected aspect of the Cindy Sheehan story concerns public expression of mourning. Ronald Reagan’s death called for an entire week of public mourning, and myriad other instances of public mourning in response to the death of a single individual mark the landscape of recent US-history: the death of John Lennon in 1980, of John Kennedy Jr. in 1999, of Christopher Reeve in 2004, Pope John Paul II earlier this year, and most recently, of ABC news anchor Peter Jennings. Public mourning in the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombings, the Challenger and Columbia disasters and the 9/11 attacks was widespread, fuelled in large part by a veritable carpet-bombing of memorials delivered to our living rooms by the corporate media. All of us took time out of our busy schedules to mark the tragedies in public displays of despair, and the effect was cathartic, a necessary step in the process of “moving on