LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Honoring the fallen

To the Editor: As students and teachers of Ames High no doubt noticed, the halls of Ames High School were different Nov. 16 and Nov. 17. Each locker had a profile of a soldier taped to it, with the soldier’s name, rank, date of death, age, picture and personal information (when available). Each locker had a different soldier, and all of the soldiers were casualties of the war in Iraq. We (Progressive Club) put up these posters in honor of veteran’s day and as a means of mourning the dead. It is our understanding that there was some confusion as to our intents with this project. Despite the fact that we are an undeniably anti-war and left-leaning group, this project was not intended to be protest. The sheer volume of the casualties may imply that we were promoting an anti-war agenda, but our hope was that people would simply have the facts in front of them and draw their own conclusions. We believe that we were honoring the fallen by making the soldiers more than just part of a number. We all read or hear about how many soldiers have died, but this number is meaningless without knowledge of faces or personalities. Each of the fallen soldiers is an individual, and we believe that they should be honored as such. We understand that some people were offended by the project, and we apologize for this. We can only ask that you understand that we did not set out to antagonize or offend anyone. We left out any sort of explicit political message to try to avoid this. We realize that it may be difficult to believe that an anti-war group set out to honor the fallen soldiers of a war, but to use a cliché, we ask that you not confuse the war with the warrior. Progressive Club supports our troops, and wishes nothing more than for them to come home safely.