Today, August 6, children who’ve recently joined the informal school in Ammam will learn Sadako’s story.
Having survived war, death threats, and displacement, they may be particularly aware of the enormous challenge represented by Sadako’s wish.
Words to the song “Little Girl of Hiroshima” are on my mind today, thinking of the Iraqi children who have not survived:
I come and stand at every door
But none shall hear my silent tread
I knock and yet remain unseen
For I am dead, for I am dead.
The song goes on to tell of a child who needs no bread, nor even wheat, needs no milk, or water, for she is dead. She only asks for peace,
So that the children of the world
Can run and dance and laugh and play.
A year ago, the space where the Iraqi children gather was grim and decrepit. The Jordanian parish priest invited volunteers from the community of Iraqis living in the area to help create a place where their children could meet for lessons and games. Several families responded and set about hauling debris out of the rooms, long unused, that had once housed monks in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Walls were sanded and painted, windows installed, and a garden they planted is now in full bloom. Thirty five children gather, for two hours a day, five days a week, under careful supervision of a few adults in the community. It’s a hopeful spot.
When I visited the school several times a week, earlier this year, two of the children, Carom and Carla, were listless and withdrawn. In the past few weeks, I’ve loved watching little Carla run to join a team playing tug-o-war, proudly accept a marker and solve simple math problems in front of the class, and actively engage in cooperative games. Her brother races faster than any of the other children his age, and he fills his notebook with careful writing.
How fortunate that these two children escaped the fate of so many Iraqi children now represented by the little girl of
Claudia Lefko, ([email protected]) works to raise money for the school. For every $35 dollars she raises, we might guess the Pentagon raises $35 million. Billions, perhaps trillions will be spent to send weapons, weapon systems, fighter jets, ammunition and military support to the region, fueling new arms races and raising the profits of
August 6th, Hiroshima Day, marks the time when the
The action involved is simple. Activists assemble in the offices of elected representatives, prepared to read aloud or to chant the names of Iraqis and Americans who have been killed since the
We can never reverse the decisions to drop atomic bombs on
The song about “The Little Girl of Hiroshima” imagines a child who comes and stands at every door, unheard and unseen. In reality, we can go to the doors of elected representatives; – we can be heard and seen. We can learn from past experiences and, as we commemorate the loss of innocent lives, bolster efforts to stop war makers from constantly gaining the upper hand in our lives. I can think of no better place to announce our determination than inside the offices of those who, as elected lawmakers, can affect future military spending. Please, if you have not already done so, visit the www.vcnv.org website and consider ways to participate in the Occupation Project during these crucial weeks before the Senate and House of Representatives vote on more spending for wars in