Monday, March 06, 2006

No! No! No! No! No!

I was reading an article the other day, which started out as:

She uttered the simplest word of dissent.
"No! No! No! No! No!"

The sound was primal, almost otherworldly in the way it escaped from the mouth of...

My stomach clenched, my heart stopped, I couldn't breathe for a minute...

"No! No! No! No! No!"

This article was about a woman who couldn't help herself at a campaign rally with her expression of despair at a comment from Dick Cheney.

The wail carried across the airplane hangar, turning thousands of heads, but seemed to barely graze the man whose statement she was rejecting: U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney.
But that wasn't the setting of my memory. I had heard that cry before... but I was the only one in the room with the woman who cried out those words...

"No! No! No! No! No!"

Perhaps they were heard by the three men in the other room, I don't know. All of my attention and energy and sympathy was directed at the woman who had her worst nightmare come to life, whose heart was breaking before my very eyes, whose world would never be the same again.

"No! No! No! No! No!"

It was on September 14, 2004 when the woman cried out at Cheney's word's. But I was remembering an event that occured eleven days before ...

On September 3, 2004, the same words were screamed from the depths of another woman's soul.

"No! No! No! No! No!"

The woman in my head was not rejecting an official campaign soundbite from a powerful political figure... she was rejecting the message I had just given her... "There are two Marines at the door and they need to speak to you."

"No! No! No! No! No!"

The woman was my mother and she knew what the Marines and the chaplain were there to tell her.

"No! No! No! No! No!"

I will never be able to erase the echo of those words from my brain. Our lives will never be the same again.

"No! No! No! No! No!"

Americans must all cry out "No!" We must stand up and demand the truth and we must demand accountability. We must honor those who have died for democracy by DEMANDING democracy. We must no longer allow our administration to kill us, to strip us of our freedoms and rights, to frighten us with their lies, to victimize our neediest citizens, and to abuse their powers for personal and political gain.

"No! No! No! No! No!"

We cannot allow another woman to cry out...

"No! No! No! No! No!"

3 comments:

Diana Rowe Pauls said...

I shared this with Gold Star Families for Peace. I was given permission to share some of their responses:

"...For me it was only the screams - I could not even form the word - only the screams and then dropping to the ground.

It is two years today that I last saw my Sherwood alive.

There is a place in my soul that has never stopped screaming.

Peace, Celeste"

Diana Rowe Pauls said...

From another GSFP mother:

"Those words sound so familiar. That is what I screamed the night the Marines came to my house to let me know that my Andy wasn't coming back home. I didn't cry tears, but it was this scream of horrifying pain, panic, shock. I begged them to tell me that it was a mistake, that it wasn't my Andy. I recognize those words so well."

Norma Aviles
Mother of Lcpl. Andrew J. Aviles, USMC Reserves
18 years old
KIA April 7, 2003- Iraq

Diana Rowe Pauls said...

And from another GSFP mother...
"We all know that pain even if we couldn't utter or scream the words... The disbelief, the denial that someone we loved that much is gone. It continues to echo in my head. I was the one who called my ex-husband, who cried the same cry in my ear. I was the one who told my dear daughters about their big brother and their cries of 'no, no, no' echo in my dreams."