Arlington Midwest, a traveling exhibit honoring the human lives lost in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars created by the Northwest Ohio Peace Coalition, will be in Grand Rapids this fall. The memorial is being brought to town by the West Michigan Justice and Peace Coalition:
Mark your calendar for Arlington Midwest: September 18 through 22!
Assembled by the Northwest Ohio Peace Coalition, the Arlington Midwest (AMW) display includes over 4,000 homemade “tombstones,” one for each U.S. soldier killed in the wars against Iraq and Afghanistan. The display, which resembles the U.S. national cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, also includes a section of 36 planks to represent the large number of civilians killed in those wars, as well as a separate “cemetery” for U.S. soldiers who have committed suicide since returning from the war.
The AMW, which is a powerful, symbolic way to enable people to confront the human cost of war, is being brought to Grand Rapids by member groups of the West Michigan Justice & Peace Coalition (WMJPC). The Dominican Sisters of Grand Rapids have graciously agreed to host the display in the southeast corner of their property at Marywood. As Joyce Ann Hertzig, O.P. puts it, “This is an opportunity to heighten awareness of our need and the need of our nation to seek peace. The human cost of the war and the poverty caused by the devastation of Earth will be highlighted” (InWord, May 2008).
At the time of his death in May, Joe Carmody (a member of Pax Christi – Grand Rapids and the WMJPC) was passionately leading the effort to bring Arlington Midwest here. Although he did not live to see this become a reality, the WMJPC Arlington Midwest Committee considers this a tribute to his peacemaking and commitment to justice.
Here’s where each of us comes in. We need to raise $1,000 to cover the expenses of transporting the display and at least 25 volunteers to help set it up and take it down, as well as volunteers to greet and guide visitors throughout the weekend. Please contact Nancy Peters at [email protected] if you will be able to help. The setup will begin on Thursday, September 18, at 10:00 a.m. With 25 volunteers it will take six hours to set up, so the more volunteers the better. The takedown will begin on Monday, September 22, at 1:00 p.m. With 25 volunteers it will take three hours to take down.
The display will be open to the public on Thursday from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., and Monday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The WMJPC Arlington Midwest Committee is recommending four volunteers for each three hour shift to greet and guide visitors.
At the request of the AMW Committee, Mary Pat Beatty, O.P. will be the media contact person. The Dominicans are pleased that IGE will sponsor an Interfaith Prayer Service in Dominican Chapel/Marywood at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 21, the U.N. International Day of Peace.
Donations to help cover the costs of the display may be mailed to the Institute for Global Education, P.O. Box 68039, Grand Rapids, MI 49516. Please write “Arlington Midwest” in the memo line. Any help that you can provide, whether it be your time, your financial support, or both, are very much appreciated!
Arlington Midwest – September 18-22, 2008
Grand Rapids Dominicans Marywood Campus
2025 E Fulton
Volunteer Sign Up Information
Please call (231) 798-2915 or email the information to [email protected] who will keep a master list. She will email updates as times fill up… suggesting other times most needed. All volunteers will be contacted to confirm their scheduled times.