A Rose is a Tulip is an Iris

Why do we know of Cindy Sheehan?

Vigil for Peace posterService Banner with Gold Star and 2 Blue Stars -- from the Library of CongressWe have heard of her because her soldier son was killed in the Iraq War on April 4, 2004.

That’s her horrible claim to fame.  Since her son was killed, she had done a number of noisy things to capture attention. But, if her son was still alive, Cindy would be an unknown Central California woman.

Mothers of servicemen (and women?) killed in service of the country have been called Gold Star Mothers since at least 1918. The name came from the custom of soldiers’ families hanging a banner in their windows. The banners showed blue stars for each active serviceman and gold stars for any soldier who was killed.

Cindy Sheehan is a Gold Star Mother. By definition. By tragedy.

But, I got my fingers slapped when I wrote a press release for this upcoming Sunday’s Peace Vigil co-sponsored by my church.  I referred to her as “Gold Star Mother Cindy Sheehan”.

Oh, no, no!  Don’t call her that!

Apparently Cindy’s tactics have angered the local (national?) Gold Star Mother’s Club.  Supposedly the organization doesn’t want Cindy to use the term “Gold Star Mother”. If I were to identify Cindy as a Gold Star Mother, the San Francisco peace coalition organizers would first have to meet and come to consensus on using that title in face of the opposition of the official club.  So, the publicity poster and press releases call Cindy “Peace Mom”.

Instead of employing the gut-wrenching powerful reminder that Cindy’s son — and other real people — have died in this war, we use a wishy-washy flower-child-sounding term than will offend, or remind, no one.

Reason 125,047 why the war continues and Bush Republicans win too many elections.

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3 Responses to A Rose is a Tulip is an Iris

  1. robinedgar says:

    War Is Peace?

    I’ll give you five gold stars for that blog post ozdachs.

    Great title too!

    Maybe it would have been rather more accurate, more to the point, and suitably ironic if the publicity poster and press releases described Cindy Sheehan as a “War Mom”. . .

    Like you I am not impressed with “political correctness” that George Orwell would recognize as “political language” that is “designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind”. . .

  2. fyellin says:

    This seems one of those cases that you can use PC-ness to your own advantage. People should be allowed to self-identify however they wish. How does Ms. Sheehan wish to be self-identified?

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