When a child is born, a mother’s dream is for that baby to grow up healthy and happy. It is not among her wishes to send her baby to be injured and killed. That is why this state of war in many places kills the dreams and hopes of many mothers, and it’s like an iron brand in the lives of many children. The innocent population who faces the lash of war will never recuperate from the violence, death and scarcity inflicted upon them.

The people in Iraq have suffered years of fear and economic violence imposed not only by Sadam, but also by the continuous bombing since the first Gulf war. The civil population has had to live without many things due to the sanctions imposed by US. Now, ten years later, the population once more is going to be the receptor of all the violence.

It has also been violent for all the young people sent into combat to kill and be killed under circumstances not clear enough. Many of those are in the military because they decided not to suffer the violence of economic deprivation. At some point in their young lives they decided to improve their livelihood, and the only way to do so was by joining the military.

How many parents in the world are suffering because of this decision to go to war? How many young people will come back with their minds and bodies scarred for life? I have noticed that many young couples decided to get married before one of them was deployed for the war. Will they be the same when they come back? Veterans from other wars have been sharing about how their lives changed for the worst.

All of us who are away from the fighting can watch parts of it on TV, but we can choose to turn it off at will. For those who are suffering the violence directly, there is no such luck.

As the days go by, I still search in me, how am I part of all this? As a member of this society, and a human being living at a place where I know about the war, what should I be doing? Is it enough to criticize, while I can stay at home? Do I become part of a group that sends e-mails during lunch hour? Maybe I can attend one of the rallies or protests if they are scheduled nearby. Deep in my heart, I feel that I need to be talking and listening to others and looking for ways to affect change at any level that I can. I also have children, and I wouldn’t want them to be part of the cycle of death, so I want to join others who are working for life and light.