One of the real joys as I travel with the Memorial Exhibit is reading what participants have left behind in the Exhibit Journals. As people come and go during the day, I notice participants engaged in reading and writing in the journals. When I get a break I sit down and read. Each entry written in longhand is a treasure. Almost all are sincere and heartfelt.
After an intense Sunday in the Iowa City Public Library with streams of people coming into the exhibit and connecting with the Veterans for Peace members, I found the gift of this artwork in the journal written by a Mennonite grandmother.
Her words weave through the tears: “Tears for things horrible, unspeakable atrocities, many of which happened when I was just a child. How has such horror continued through my young adulthood, through my childbearing years, and now into my grandmothering years. My Lai after My Lai after My Lai. God help us all. Give us the wisdom and courage to put WAR in his eternal grave.”
Touring the country, creating spaces to share the Memorial Exhibit with stout-hearted folks who value and work for peace, and who will add their own art and thoughts to the exhibit is a gift for all of us.