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Welcome to the Memorial Day edition of WYFP (mostly written on Memorial Day weekend).

Today, I met drchelo and dmsilev downtown, and we went on an architectural cruise before going to Pizzeria Due's for lunch:

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Mmm, mmm, mmm - looks good enough to eat, huh?

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A year ago, I spent the Saturday before Memorial Day going to three different locations in Chicago for Chicago Treasures diaries, which I recall over the jump.

WYFP is our community's Saturday evening gathering to talk about our problems, empathize with one another, and share advice, pootie pictures, favorite adult beverages, and anything else that we think might help. Everyone and all sorts of troubles are welcome. May we find peace and healing here. Won't you please share the joy of WYFP by recommending?

First, I traveled via L and bus and another bus to South Chicago, the one time location of Republic Steel.  This was the location of the Memorial Day Massacre.  It involved a worker's strike in 1937, which was attacked by the police.  I left flowers at the memorial.

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The plaque looked weathered and abused (maybe vandalized?).

It rested at the foot of a flag pole that hasn't flown a flag in some time, and probably won't.  I don't say that because the gears were weathered or rusted...  I say that because there was no rope on the pole, on which to raise a flag.

No one walked up to me and asked, "Why are you here?  What's this about?"  Besides the bus driver, the custodian, and people driving by me, no one knew I was there at all.

Nimbus, thank you for your diary, thank you for teaching me about these heroes.  I am glad that I went there.  But I am sad ... while the plaque reads "Erected, May 30, 1967" it should continue, "Neglected, May 27, 2007."

I also joined in at a war protest, and walked up and down in front of the Art Institute than was good for my fat, old legs...

This sign got a lot of response from the people driving by...

As did the one in the middle, here.

I've not always agreed with their actions, but the Code Pink ladies were very nice, and wow, did they have an effective sign (they showed up well into the protest, but stuck it out to the bitter end...)

But I have to say, in spite of meeting a lot of nice people who have spent a lot of Sundays protesting the war, this was my favorite protester - even though her time on the line was rather brief:

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That the protests and protesters are still needed for this insane war.

But the story that touched me most - the one that had me in tears, right there, was the Eyes Wide Open presentation - where one pair of boots was placed for each soldier fallen in Iraq or Afghanistan by the incredible American Friends Service Committee (Quakers.)

And one had a teddy bear:

But it was the numbers, the overwhelming, heartbreaking numbers, that kept me turning in circles, within and round the exhibit.

Since that protest, I've met the singer Carol Williams, who wrote "Empty Boots" and allowed me to use it to make a slideshow with my photos:

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That the overwhelming numbers of boots had forced the American Friends Service Committee to decide that the Chicago presentation of a year ago would be the last one shown with all fallen service people represented.  After that presentation, the boots were to be divided by state or by region, and shown in smaller, more easy-to-handle numbers.

I don't fault the American Friends Service Committee for this at all... but it is one more depressing and horrible thing about the horrible war.

So, it's a holiday weekend.  WYFP?  Share!

Originally posted to sheddhead on Sat May 31, 2008 at 04:59 PM PDT.

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