A Markerless Grave in Vacaville
By Cindy Sheehan
I am so tired of the Rovian, heartless, and ignorant smear machine attacking me and my family at every turn of my back.
The latest abomination in their scrutiny of my life is the fact that Casey has no "tombstone." As if it were anybody's business but Casey's family. I am sure every last person who has a problem with this has buried a child and they know what we are going through.
. . . .
I will tell the world why Casey has no marker yet. In the first place, does anyone who is attacking me know how Casey was brought home from Iraq? We picked him up in the United loading dock in a cardboard box and he was off-loaded into a hearse without one honor guard. We had to wait for about a half hour on a curb near the United freight area for his one escort, who rode from Dover Air Force Base in a seat, while Casey was treated as an over-sized piece of luggage. Has anybody held her other sobbing children who are sitting on a curb in San Francisco, waiting for the remains of their big brother to be carried over to the dock by a forklift?
Our so-called, illegitimate president has never attended a funeral, nor can families see the pictures of their loved ones as they are hauled like freight with flags on them from an immoral war zone. WE don't see them because Mama Bush doesn't want to "bother her pretty mind" with the images. America doesn't want to be bothered, either. We had a Casualty Officer who abandoned us when our mortuary refused to pay the cemetery and told us that the "government sent the money to the mortuary, so now it is your problem. You may have to sue the mortuary." Our government discards and dishonors its own.
My Casey wasn't always a soldier. He was a son and brother whose murder has left an aching hole in our lives worse than an amputation. Sooner or later, amputations heal and quit throbbing; this hole never will, or can, heal.
For the first year after Casey was killed, I didn't want to believe it. I didn't want to place a TOMBstone on my son's grave. I didn't want one more marble proof that my son was dead. I couldn't even call where he was buried a "cemetery," I had to call it "Casey's Park." I placed fresh flowers in the cup every week and journaled there almost on a daily basis, and often laid on it and fell asleep and dreamed of my needlessly killed son. Have any of these people who claim that I am pissing on my son's grave even visited him? Have they visited the grave of any soldier needlessly or senselessly killed in George's war of choice for oil and profit? Have they sobbed uncontrollably for my first born who shouldn't even need a gravestone? No, all they want to do is attack a mother who wants to prevent other people from having to bury their own child. They want to perpetuate a war that has already killed many thousands of our fellow human beings for absolutely nothing.
Casey's shell is buried in Vacaville, California, not his spirit. He lives with me and he is constantly with me as I travel the world so other families, Iraqi or American, do not have to bury their children. Casey lives in the hearts of everyone who wants peace and works for peace. He will never truly die.
There are many people whom the Bush regime has killed, either directly or indirectly, by their murderous policies: there are people buried under rubble of Iraq and who were buried under the rubble of the World Trade Towers, and if their families were lucky they could find small parts to bury, before their remains were carted away in the enormous trucks and barges; there are people still unaccounted-for in the swamps of New Orleans and in refrigerated trucks in Mississippi that will never even have graves, let alone gravestones. The Bush regime is good for business, all right; especially the funeral business.
I know these people are searching for proof that I am a horrible person, and it must be evidence that I didn't love Casey if he doesn't have a marker. I know that they can't support a criminal regime that is slipping into fascism, so they have to attack a mom for the "crime" of being broken-hearted and trying to save lives.
What they don't know is that they can't stop me from trying to save lives. No matter what they cook up next.
It is too important. No more needless gravestones. No more wasted lives.