We are joining with Iraqi human rights groups and our allies to hold the U.S. government accountable for the lasting effects of war and to demand the right to heal. Check out the Right to Heal Initiative website at http://righttoheal.org and sign the petition to demand a hearing.
Three days ago I saw the aftermath of explosives that tore through a crowd of unsuspecting bystanders, shrapnel leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. I read how children lost their lives, others lost limbs and a nation looked on in horror. On Monday, this same scene played out over and over again. All of them separate bombings, all on the same day and all in the same country. Iraq is this country, where over 25 blasts rocked major metropolitan areas, many of them car bombs, that resulted in more than 61 deaths and over 274 injured. No doubt the enormity of the loss of life and carnage is hard to imagine but if you had watched the news or read American newspapers you could be forgiven for not knowing it happened at all.
Monday was also significant for another bombing, one that most of us heard about. The kind of terror inflicted at the Boston Marathon just a handful of days ago will not readily leave my mind. The images, testimonies and the moments of bravery demonstrated by people like Carlos Arredondo will continue to haunt me. Unfortunately, the destruction in Boston is all too familiar for those of us that have experienced the unending senseless violence in Iraq. Both for the Iraqi civilians that live in a country that has witnessed more than a decade of war and for US veterans that have returned home to a country that has seemed oblivious to its existence.