Peace Abbey volunteer Madeline Champagne had been recording the total number of U.S. war deaths in Iraq on a sign outside the Peace Abbey, but during the winter of 2007 she decided these men and women deserved more recognition than just a number. In the Peace Abbey Coffeehouse room in the lower level of the Conference Center Madeline began building a memorial consisting of a wrist band with the name of each of the U.S. service member killed in action in Iraq. The wristbands are linked in a series of hanging chains that extend for many feet along the walls. The effect is moving and memorable.
Now, as the troops will be coming home from Iraq by the end of this year, it seems a fitting time for The Peace Abbey to dismantle the memorial and have a final tribute for these men and women.
We encourage everyone who is able to participate in this process. Please come by The Peace Abbey to spend a few moments to be a part of this extended prayer. Even taking down a few wristbands will make you part of the prayer–spend whatever time you can.
Each participant will cut one or more wristbands from the chains, remove the plastic covering, and honor each individual by reading aloud the name, age, and other information. (Scissors and staple removers will be on a table downstairs, along with a container to hold the wristbands.)
Once all the wristbands are all taken down, we will have a ceremony to burn the wristbands and scatter the ashes on C.O. Hill.
A listing will be printed and kept in a book in the Peace Abbey Multi-Faith Chapel.