Tonight We Begin to End War

The following is adapted from Jim Wallis' presentation at the March 16 Christian Peace Witness service in the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

our years ago, my son Jack was born—two days before the war began. I always know how long this awful war has gone on. The war in Iraq is personal for me. It's personal for you, too, or you wouldn't be here.

It's personal for the families and loved ones of the more than 3,200 American soldiers who have lost the precious gift of life. The stories I hear every day on the radio and TV break my heart. They are so young to die, and it is so unnecessary. When I look at my son and celebrate his birthday, I think of all the children whose fathers or mothers won't be coming back to celebrate theirs.

It's personal for the tens of thousands of service men and women who have lost their limbs or their mental and emotional health, and who now feel abandoned and mistreated.

It's personal for all the Iraqis who have lost loved ones, as many as hundreds of thousands. What would it be like to wait in line at morgues to check dead bodies, desperately hoping you don't recognize someone you love? I can only imagine. And when I look at my son, I think of all the Iraqi children who will never celebrate another birthday.

This isn't just political; it's personal for millions of us now. And for all of us here, the war in Iraq is actually more than personal—it has become a matter of faith.

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Sojourners Magazine June 2007
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