Wednesday, March 21, 2007

FACING WAR at Brooklyn Friends School

For three days in February, the Honor the Fallen memorial took up residence in the high school of Brooklyn Friends School, a Quaker school in downtown Brooklyn. We had met Leah, a BFS senior, when she volunteered to help us set up the panels at the Brooklyn Peace Fair in the fall.(See our archives, October 26, 2006.) She contacted us later to ask if we would consider bringing the memorial to her school. We were delighted and one Sunday morning drove the panels from Southold to Brooklyn, handed them over to students from the Peace and Social Justice group who installed them and managed the impressive three-day, Monday to Wednesday, event.

The sheer number of panels required that every spare inch of wall space on two floors of the upper school were covered. This made it a very powerful experience, overwhelmingly so for some. You could not turn away, it was everywhere.

Each high school class dedicated a Quaker meeting period to reflect on the ways in which the panels had affected them. Their reactions were wide-ranging, thoughtful and often surprising.

We left a "Reflections" notebook so that students and teachers could express their thoughts and feelings about their experiences over the past three days.

We bring you some of their handwritten pages.

We have tried to distill what we learned from this rich and provocative experience. Although we have displayed the memorial in many, many locations over the past two years, this is the first time we have left it in place for three days. It is also the first time we have worked with a small, close community and had the opportunity to interview its members to understand what the impact of this 'in your face' and personal proximity to the ramifications of war might be.

In a wonderful working collaboration, Gene Taylor and Abe Krikorian of Conscience Films and NFPOC produced a 43-minute video documentary titled FACING WAR which we will be happy to share with anyone who is interested in seeing it: perhaps you or somebody you know would like to talk about bringing Honor the Fallen to your school, college, religious or other institution. If you'd like a copy, please email us at

Another perspective of the three-day event can be found at the school's web site


Along with people around the country and the world, we marked the beginning of the fifth year of the Iraq war on Sunday, March 18, 2007.

Here we are setting up the panels--on walls and on the floor.

Here is how 3300 dead faces appeared to those who saw them in the Southold Recreation Center.

We welcomed three Veterans--from WWII and Vietnam--who spoke about their sadness and frustration as they looked at all the people who they felt had given their lives for no good reason.

NFPOC wonders if we are witnessing a change in feelings about the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan. Many organizers this year have reported lower participation at rallies, vigils and demonstrations. This year we too saw considerably fewer people than those that crowded the events we held in 2006 and 2005. We speculate on the reasons: the weather is of course always a factor and Sunday was a very cold and windy day. Are some people waiting to see if the "surge" works, withholding their protest in case it does? (We are not sure what "works" means!) There were so many gatherings scheduled this year--protesting not only war but immigration and the environment. Too many protests, not enough time? Or, perhaps people feel their protests of the past four years have worked:with a new Congress in place, it's time to turn over the work to them. After all, that's what we elected them for?

Tell us what you think.

Thursday, March 08, 2007


On Sunday, March 18 from 11 am-5 pm, NFPOC will be marking the fourth anniversary of the Iraq invasion and the beginning of the fifth year of the war by displaying the Honor the Fallen Memorial at Southold Recreation Center on Peconic Lane, Peconic.

Speakers are scheduled from 2-2.30 pm and we will offer an open mic from 2.30-3.00 pm.

We need help!

1. We are looking for speakers from the North Fork. In particular, if you are an Iraq vet, we would especially like to invite you to speak at our event.

2. We need help distributing posters around our community. Please download the poster below and print as many as you feel you can post in your neighborhood. Thank you!

3. We need help installing the Memorial. We can open the Recreation Center at 9 am which gives us two hours to install the 170+ panels. Many hands will really make lighter work of this.

If you can help in any of these ways, please call:
Gwynn at 631 298 4912
Pat at 631 765 4612
Eleanor at 641 749 4378

Thank you very much.