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Friday, July 08, 2005

 

Nadia McCaffery: 'Robbing Us of Tomorrow'

On July 5, Nadia McCaffery of GoldStar Families for Peace spoke before delegates to the National Education Association's Representative Assembly. According to the flyer disseminated by the NEA's Peace and Justice Caucus, "Nadia is the mother of Sergeant Patrick McCaffrey who was killed in Iraq on June 22, 2004. Gold Star Families for Peace is a group of families of soldiers who have died as a result of war. They have organized to be a positive force in our world, to bring our country's sons and daughters home from Iraq, to minimize the human cost of this war, adn to support other families who have lost their sons and daughters to war."

Nadia said that her son was thirty-four and the father of three kids. He was killed in an ambush. After 9/11 he said, "I have to do something," and joined the National Guard. Told that he'd be deployed to Utah, Nadia's only child was sent to Iraq instead.

According to Nadia, "He left with a great big smile in broad daylight." He came "back at midnight." The US government wanted to avoid media but Nadia "called [the] media to welcome him." She says "I am proud of my son and not about to hide him."

Nadia said that it took Patrick about a week to understand the lie. "I don't know why we're here," he relayed to his mother. "There is no water. There is no electricity."

Nadia admonishes us to say "No to War, No to Killing. Who is going to raise my grandchildren?" she poignantly cried. "What did Viet Nam accomplish? Algeria?"

"Speak out! Do not be silent! Silence is our worst enemy. Speak out loud!"

Nadia, who grew up in France in the aftermath of WWII says, "I say 'No' to War, especially this one. Please think. Who have we become? We need to react. We need to stop hating and discriminating."

While she was in Amman she met a young child who stood up and said, "I want all the Americans to leave and go home."

When Nadia asked him what he would do if they didn't leave, he replied, "Then I will kill you all." If he wasn't successful? "Then I will go to your country and kill you all there."

The current war, concluded Nadia, is "robbing us of tomorrow."

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