Meeting a Legend

November 23, 2006


Last night, my friends Christina and Alice invited me to a very special engagment. I was fortunate enough to meet Cindy Sheehan who was part of a delegation of peace activists visiting Korea to build bridges with anti-war activists here.

She gave a talk to a packed church in downtown Seoul and shared her thoughts on what brought her to the movement and how she felt it must move forward.

I was immensely impressed not only by the message she articulated, but by the strength and nobility she brought to her presentation. Tired, sad, and distressed as she may be, she showed impeccable grace and patience in her bearing, even in the difficult circumstances of having a speech continuously interrupted by simultaneous interpretation into Korean.

During question and answer time, I took the mic to ask whether she had come to her political views before her son left for Iraq and if so, whether she had discussed with Casey what she felt. She replied that she did in fact protest the war before it took place and that she begged her son to come with her to Canada. As tears welled up in her eyes (and mine as well), she recalled the intense sense of duty that Casey reminded her was imperative to uphold, to his country that he had promised his service, and to his comrades-in-arms whom he had vowed never to abandon. Sadly, only five days after his arrival to Iraq, he was shot and killed.

Sheehan noted the intense appreciation she had for her welcome here in Korea, and promised that the amazing impression made by the young activists leading the struggle would travel back with her to the States where she would let everyone know that hope was alive among the Korean activist community.


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