Fairfield University students erect symbols of Iraq war casualties


Image: Hope TrailWhile the Senate Armed Service Committee was hearing testimony today from Gen. David Petraeus on the state of the war in Iraq, at Fairfield University, thousands of yellow, white and red flags are flying along pathways that students regularly traverse to remind them of the cost in life and casualties of the war.

Dr. Jocelyn Boryczka, director of Fairfield's Program in Peace and Justice Studies, says the project has been student driven. Each yellow flag represents 1,000 Iraqi civilians displaced by the violence of the war, 2.2 million internally and 2 million to neighboring countries, figures from the UN High Commission on Refugees Global Appeal. Each white flag represents 500 Iraqi lives lost, with the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University reporting a total of "approximately 600,000 killed in the violence." Each red flag represents 500 U.S. deaths, which now total 4,011.

In spite of the stark message the flags send out to people passing by, the students have named their demonstration the "Hope Trail." Dr. Boryczka said, "The students wanted to show people the impact of the war so they would start building hope for a better future. For our young people, it is so important to have hope."

The students also erected a "Fairfield Remembers Wall" in the John A. Barone Campus Center which gives a timeline of the war and an area for people to post remembrances of family or friends who have served or are serving in Iraq.

On Thursday, April 10, from 5 to 7 p.m., students plan a procession past the "Hope Trail," followed by a student performance on the Campus Center Patio paying remembrance to various aspects of the war.

To see a clip of the interview, please click here.

Photo available upon request.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on April 8, 2008

Vol. 40, No. 234