In any other American city, running to the bank and post office during your lunch break is a mundane endeavor-not even worthy a tweet (and I’ve seen some pretty mundane tweets). But not everyone crosses in front of the White House to accomplish those two tasks as I do.
Today I saw one of the funniest political protests I’ve seen in a while. A big George W. Bush in jail-house gear with orange “War Criminal” signs tacked to his outfit and an oversized paper-mache head was dodging shoes in front of the White House. Typical of protests in front of the White House, this one featured more journalists, photographers and cameramen than actual protesters. I counted about 10 people there without camera equipment. The protesters were listing grievances to Bush and then hurtling shoes at his large head. Bush seemed to enjoy the attention, he was dancing and shaking his bum at the protesters and generally enjoying himself. Nothing like the Bush we saw earlier this week ducking from the onslaught of shoes at a press conference while Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki calmly raised his hand to block the shoe.
The humor in the actual act of throwing shoes was tempered, though, when I walked a few steps over to see the shoes lined up in honor of the men, women and children civilians in Iraq who have been killed since the U.S. invasion in 2003. That’s when I felt bad for laughing at Bush dancing around and felt truly saddened. The smallest shoes were especially heartbreaking.
Especially in these busy times, it’s so easy to think that your experience is difficult, stressful, etc. As my mom, husband and I ate dinner last night, after cleaning up dust in our house (we’re getting central air installed) we talked about all the people around the world who have to clean dust off their silverware every day, not from contractors, but from bombs going off in their neighborhood, bullets coming through their walls, etc. I can’t even imagine what that must feel like. I’ve never lived in a place where there’s any real threat of being bombed/injured due to violence.
We all have so much to be grateful for. I’m grateful my daily errands remind me of those who have suffered due to senseless war. And I can feel that, if nothing else, by honoring their memory, I have paid tribute to their too-short lives.
See: http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2008/12/16/white-house-press-secretary-sports-black-eye/ to see how Dana Perino was affected…