October 21, 2011, President Barack Obama announced the end of the Iraq War which began nearly nine years ago. What was not said? As some say, "Silence is Loud." There was neither a declaration of victory nor an acknowledgement of defeat. What we heard was an executive decision- carefully considered, deliberatively delivered - it is time to come home.
Reactions are mixed. Is the departure of 40,000 U.S. troops a withdrawal or a retreat? Is this decision on time, past time or untimely? What is the full meaning of removing our military presence in Iraq?
On October 23, 2011, a Spencer Platt/Getty photo showed U.S. troops walking behind an armored vehicle along an extended dirt road in Iraq. The photo appeared under the headline, "Veterans ponder pain of Iraq War, in The Baltimore SUN. For sure, U.S. military presence in Iraq has been a journey.
"Alabama Poem" by Nikki Giovanni comes to mind: As a student from Tuskegee University walks down the street with text books in hand, an old lady with a corn cob pipe calls out , "Girl, my feet seen more than your eyes ever going to read in them books. Better come study these feet." In order to further the girl's education, the old lady offers to give the student a "cut - off "piece of her bunion. The implication is that such a gift would provide more wisdom than the knowledge contained in books.
I treasure a bunion of my own.
Feet were made for walking. But if my feet could talk, here is what they would say:
- delay does not the mean denial
- improbable does not mean impossible
- simple does not mean easy
- unlikely does not mean unattainable
- sight is not the same as insight
- action, no action - each is a choice
- wounds require healing, even those which are self-inflicted or invisible to the eye
- healing is a painful process requiring courageous action by the wounded - individual, family, nation
- walking is both a daily experience and a lifetime journey.
Share. If your feet could talk, what would they say?