Monday, May 28, 2007

Eyes Wide Open on Memorial Day

Yesterday was Bike the Drive in Chicago -one of my favorite events of the year. Watch this girl go... she's going to try to embed video:

Holy crap, I think I did it.

I rode the first 32 miles with the serious bikers, which always sort of cracks me up. They were riding slowly for them, of course. And then, this biker-guy I'd been chatting with said that they were going to go back to the beginning and ride the first 16 miles again, VERY slowly, to encourage the slower, beginner riders and the kids and did I want to go? Sure. I found this family that had 5 daughters. (Cue music from Fiddler on the Roof.) They had a tandem bike with one of those tag-along bikes and a burley, so 5 people were on one bike. The two older girls had bikes of their own, so I rode with them to keep them more or less in sight of their parents.

All of which ended up putting me very far from where my car was actually parked. And thus, we get a blog post for today.

I sort of accidentally ended up at the Eyes Wide Open exhibit in Grant Park.

The American Friends Service Committee's exhibit on the human cost of the Iraq War features a pair of boots honoring each U.S. military casualty and a field of shoes memorializing some of the civilians killed in the conflict. In January 2004, Eyes Wide Open was displayed for the first time in Federal Plaza with 504 pairs of boots symbolizing the lost lives of U.S. soldiers in Iraq. With each passing week, and each stop in a new city, more pairs of boots are added to represent the newly fallen. Now the exhibit includes more than 3,233 pairs of boots. The program includes the voices of those touched by this war - Gold Star Families Speak Out members whose loved ones died as a result of the war in Iraq; Military Families Speak Out members whose loved ones are currently deployed, soon to deploy, or have returned from Iraq physically and/or psychologically damaged; members of Iraq Veterans Against the War; members of Veterans for Peace and Vietnam Veterans Against the War; and active duty troops who are participants in the Appeal for Redress project.

It's a worth a trip into Chicago, just to make yourself see what we have wrought. I know you know, but really, see it anyway. And if you want to ride your bike along the lakefront while you're there, let me know. I'll go with you.

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