Washington State Gaza .
To Mossad (Israeli secret police), the C.I.A. (U.S.A. ditto), some juvenile Peace-hater or Hate-worshipper, a fanatic anti-Palestinian, or even-more-fanatic believer that "Israel can do NO wrong!" To WHOEVER it is who has been sabotaging this web-site AND my personal e-mail account ever since I announced my intention of publishing this tribute to Rachel, I ask the following favour of you: Read through this tribute page (both the introduction and the poems) CAREFULLY AND WITH AN OPEN MIND. Then write to me (contact address given at bottom of the page) and explain to me just WHAT you find in it so objectionable. I, too, will try to read your comments carefully and with an open mind. Let's be honest: having my web-site and my e-mail account sabotaged is a tiny price to pay compared to what Rachel paid. And frankly, even if you went to the ridiculous extreme of killing me, too, THAT would be (in my opinion) a small price compared to hers. Because I'll soon be 52 years old, I've had a (reasonably) long and full life. Rachel never even made it to 24. She had EVERYTHING to live for. And WE ALL would have had so much to gain if she'd lived to fulfill her potential... You may try to silence us, one by one. But you'll never be able to silence us all. And new voices will lift up. And be heard.
To the Congress of the United States Of America: It is one thing to support your friends. It is one thing to always vote to the benefit (or at least never to vote AGAINST the wishes) of one of the most powerful political lobbies that exist, succumbing to their implicit blackmail that "If you vote against us, you're politically DEAD!" It is another thing to stand (or sit) with your arms crossed while these "friends" or blackmailers are killing innocent children. (Some people would say "ESPECIALLY when they're killing one of your OWN children!" Personally, I think it shouldn't make a difference.) I would like to invite you all to take some inspiration from some of those wacky religious sects and commit MASS POLITICAL SUICIDE. Defy the lobby. Support the Corrie family's struggle for Justice in the case of their daughter's death. You may lose your collective seats in Congress. But you will win your own self respect. AND the respect of the majority of the world's population. Perhaps - who knows? - even the respect of the majority of U.S. voters.
For those of you who might not know, Rachel Corrie was a Peace activist/volunteer who spent time in Gaza, living with Palestinians, sharing their lives, witnessing what was happening to them. Early in 2003, before she turned 24, while standing in front of a Palestinian home in an attempt to protect it from being razed by the Israeli Army, she was crushed to death by a bulldozer. This is not the place to go into all the details – you can find them [or links to them] at www.rachelcorriefoundation.org This here is my own personal tribute. I created it because - although I never met her - her story, the e-mails she sent to her family from Gaza [you can read some of these at the web-site mentioned above], and the effect she’s had on other people’s lives, have all moved me very deeply. In the short time since I first chanced upon her story, I’ve been inspired to write a cycle of poems, significantly change one of my “fairy tales”, and get a new perspective on my long-awaited novel [well, I’ve been awaiting it long…]
On this page you’ll find an open letter to her parents, and the poems I wrote. But first I think it’s important to make a few things clear:
1) I originally hoped this web-site would reach younger readers. I have no way of knowing the age of people who look in on it, but in case some of these younger readers look in on this particular page I want to explain the use of sarcasm. Sarcasm means saying something completely different from what you really believe or feel. Sometimes the exact opposite. There are various types of sarcasm: angry sarcasm, condescending (sneering) sarcasm, jokey, friendly sarcasm… It turns out that I wrote the first poem "Another Song For Rachel" in sad sarcasm. Why? Well, that’s the way the poem “came to me”. Why? Well, imagine a young woman who cares enough about the suffering of others she doesn’t even know to go live among them for a time, to bring them a message of solidarity and caring. While doing this, she is killed. This fact makes international headlines, and, in Internet, blogs start up about her. In one of these blogs, someone writes his opinion that “she was protecting what? terrorists... she should burn in hell for an eternity.” They wrote this without ever knowing her - and five days after she was killed, when her family and friends must have been going through agony. I ask myself how it’s possible for someone to be so sure that THEY are right and the OTHER is wrong, and SO wrong that they deserve to “burn in hell for an eternity.” It saddens me, and my sadness came out in sarcasm in this poem. So just bear in mind that the poem expresses some feelings entirely opposite to my own.
2) I am NOT anti-Semitic, nor am I anti-Jewish. And – being a pedant – I’ll point out that “Jewish” is NOT synonymous with “Israeli”, so I’ll add that I’m NOT anti-Israeli. As far as I know, I am only personally acquainted with one Israeli citizen. And he is definitely a friend. But what I most certainly AM ‘anti’ is anti-hypocrisy. Especially when hypocrisy is used by the powerful to justify bullying those who are weaker. I object most strongly to the State of Israel hiding behind this smokescreen they throw up of accusing others of “anti-Semitism” to silence criticism of the cruel policies they have been carrying out in the occupied territories. And I’ll admit that any country/people/religion that considers itself “God’s Chosen People” makes me feel very queasy. This goes for Israel, but also for the USA and many others. I would ask any of you intelligent people out there to PLEASE explain to me where the difference lies between calling yourself “God’s Chosen People”, or “The Defenders Of Democracy” and calling yourself “The Master Race”. All three seem to me terms self-awarded to justify using any tactics at all to get your own way. After all, then you can tell yourself that “They” are beneath “Us”, either through God’s decree, through underdeveloped political savvy, or genetically. I'd like here to quote from a wonderful song, "War Crimes" by a wonderful band, The Special A.K.A. [Forgive me here for this digression: may I just point out that another song by The Special A.K.A., “Free Nelson Mandela”, is – in my opinion – the best protest song ever.]: "From the graves of Belsen where the innocent were burned / To the genocide in Beirut [you can read here: Gaza, Golan...], Israel was nothing learned?"
3) I think it’s important to keep a few things in perspective:
a) Rachel was not more important than the people whose lives she was sharing. The senseless death or suffering of anybody should sadden us. The fact that 4-year-olds are killed by “stray” bullets should sicken us all. And I don’t think that she was better than her fellow volunteers from the International Solidarity Movement. But it’s a cruel twist of fate that if she hadn’t died, I would probably never have read her account of her/their time and work in Gaza. And that – ironically - is what brought her to life for me. Because one thing that was special about her was her talent for writing about her observations and feelings, the people she met, and her work. Her ability to make her readers feel with her. That talent has gone from us. The message hasn’t.
b) Rachel believed that she was safe, that “they” wouldn’t dare really harm her because she was a westerner, a USA citizen. We know now how wrong she was. We shouldn’t refuse to share her purity of spirit, but let’s not share her naïveté.
c) Rachel didn’t “give her life for some misguided cause” as some of these bloggers assert. She didn’t “give her life” for ANY cause. It was STOLEN from her. Let’s ALL be clear about that.
d) Rachel didn’t go to Palestine to become a martyr. It is absolutely clear from her e-mails home that she wanted to live, that she wanted to enjoy life, that she wanted to dance. But she was sensitive enough to refuse to “stay at home” and “look the other way”. She would have felt guilty doing nothing. So should we all…
e) I’m not suggesting we should ALL go and stand in front of the bulldozers and the tanks [though, when I think about it, wouldn’t it be a buzz if we ALL did ?!] But surely ALL of us who have been touched by her [and others’] example should refuse – like her – to look the other way. If ALL of us decided to do at least something to bring about Peace, couldn’t we make it impossible for “them” to wage War? Maybe I am as naïve as Rachel, after all… But just “(What’s So Funny ’Bout) Peace, Love, And Understanding?!”
4) The poem mentioned above, "Another Song For Rachel", was the first poem that "came to me". (It can be understood as coming from the mouth of the bulldozer driver who killed Rachel. Or – more generally – anybody involved in “the forces of occupation” all over the world.) But - although I'm proud of it - I couldn't help but be bothered by the fact that I'd given voice to someone I don't agree with at all, and NOT to those I do agree with. Well, now I'm very glad that I wrote this poem first. If I'd written one in praise of Rachel, I might have stopped there. But this being-bothered fermented away inside me, and after some days the cork popped and the beginnings of another poem came bubbling out. I can't say that I'm finished yet. Every now and then a new voice joins in. And I keep thinking I've finished Mr. Bush' contribution, but after a few days he opens up his big mouth and sings another verse or two for me.
5) Let me make one thing perfectly clear: I have never actually spoken to any of these "singers" [aside from myself - I have VERY long conversations with me.] I have received an e-mail or two from Rachel's sister, Sarah, and her "song" was inspired by some of her very kind words. You could say that - with the exception of the 3 Corrie women (Rachel, Sarah, and their mother Cindy), myself, and Mr. Bush - I invented the rest of the singers [I think Karl Rove invented Mr. Bush]. But the funny thing is that they seem so real to me. From what I've read about - and by - Rachel, it's easy to imagine that one or more of her fellow ISM volunteers might have fallen in love with her, yet been shy enough to not say anything. And I've read in her e-mails of the affection some of the Palestinians (perhaps especially the older women) showed for her. I'd like to believe that somewhere in Gaza there's a jaddati (grandmother) who felt for her as the (imaginary?) one who "spoke" to me. And who knows: perhaps she does exist, and her feelings for Rachel were strong enough to leap across thousands of kilometres and tell me EXACTLY what to write down.
6) One more point: I don't want to take credit where it isn't due. Within the "Song Cycle" you'll find words printed in different colours. Aside from the rainbow sequence in the last line of the fourth voice, the words written in lilac are REALLY Rachel's: where I included words of my own (within her quote) or subtracted words of hers - and I NEVER did this to change her meaning: it was ALWAYS to help the poem either rhyme or scan - I have indicated this by [black square brackets]. I'll admit that I haven't always been completely successful as far as scanning goes, but this was because I didn't want to remove any more than I did. The passion behind her words would have been watered down if I'd gone for a really smooth rhythm... The words in black in the rest of the poem are mine, but I sincerely hope that they aren't too out of line with what Rachel believed and felt. The words in red are not always exact quotes, but in every case express at least the gist of some of Rachel's detractors: the blogger mentioned above and spokespeople for the Israeli Army and/or Government. I couldn't have written "Sarah's Song" or “Cindy’s Song” (or – of course – “Rachel’s Song”) without their words to inspire me [though in the first two cases, I’ve paraphrased quite a bit]. Because of this, I’ve credited them with co-authorship. This does NOT mean that they sat down with me to write the poems together. Nor did they ask to be credited. It was my decision. Many of the sentiments in “Cindy’s Song” were expressed by her in articles and press statements, and Sarah (as I’ve written above) wrote to me. I hope they’re not deceived by the form I put their words into. I have tried to be careful not to put words into their mouths that they wouldn’t agree with, but readers should be aware that there is a degree of invention on my part. There are links in underlined blue in "Voice of George W." for those of you who don't know what I'm talking about. If you click on them, they’ll take you to (sometimes long and involved) web pages that’ll explain what I’m hinting at. [I couldn’t find a web-site that includes the words inscribed on The Statue Of Liberty (without swamping them under other material), so have printed them out at the foot of this page.] And finally, the graffito on a wall in Rafah. This is quoted directly from an eyewitness account. I don't actually know who really wrote it, and hope they forgive me for assigning it to "Mohammed"...
An open letter to Rachel’s Parents
Dear Cindy and Craig Corrie,
I was out in the wilds when Rachel was killed and the news hit the headlines. I only found out this year - this month - because of Katherine Viner’s article for The Guardian on her job of editing Rachel’s writings for the Theatre Upstairs play put on at the Royal Court theatre, London. That article moved me so much that I looked up The Guardian’s files on “Rachel Corrie” and read as much as I could about her, and by her. Since then, every day I think about her – some days a few minutes: some days longer. It’s not that I set out to think about her: just that she’ll pop into my head while I’m doing building work, while I’m weeding in the garden, while I’m listening to music… And most days, when this has happened, I’ve ended up crying...
I’ve never had children of my own, so it would be stupid and senseless to say that I know what you have gone through and are going through. But I would like to say that you, too, have been an inspiration to me. It came through in Rachel’s e-mails home how much you both supported and loved her. In your last e-mail to her, you wrote : “I’d much rather be proud of somebody else’ daughter.” That struck a GONG in me. In my case she WAS somebody else’ daughter, and I AM proud of her. I wrote just now that she “was” (past tense) your daughter, while I head this page “She Lives” (present tense). Is there a contradiction here? Yes and no. She is still your daughter, as I’m sure you very much feel. But when she went off to Gaza, you lent your daughter to the world for a little while, and we never gave her back. She belongs to all of us now. What a mean and shabby trick to play on you for all your support and Love! If there is any way I can “pay off” some of my portion of the debt, I hope you will let me know.
In this world of constant headlines, disasters, distractions, I don’t want to make any promises that I might not keep. But Rachel lit a candle in my heart and I certainly HOPE that it never goes out…
In Peace, in Love, in (an attempt at) Understanding,
A Song Cycle For Various And Very Varied Voices
The quotes in fuchsia before each poem are from Rachel’s e-mails to family and friends. I hope they whet your appetite to read the e-mails in full.
Another Song For Rachel
"Atah MeTachat Degle Shahor" (You are carrying out immoral orders) – This is from an e-mail to Rachel from Danny, a dissident Israeli soldier, giving Rachel a suggestion for what to say to soldiers
“International kids standing in front of tanks with banners. Israeli kids in the tanks anonymously - occasionally shouting and also occasionally waving - many forced to be here, many just aggressive”
“So I think when all means of survival is cut off in a pen (Gaza) which people can't get out of, I think that qualifies as genocide.”
You give us your finest, your sweetest,
Your bravest, …your best.
We taunt and we sneer, shout obscenities, jeer
We’d crush them all to death!
We’re scared old men and scared young men,
Yes, some are women too.
We’re scared of Life, we’re scared of Peace:
We wouldn’t have a clue.
We’re Jews or Christians, French or Turks,
We’re from the USA.
We deal in arms and false alarms,
But we specialise in Hate.
Hey, don’t you know they stomped on us
In History somewhere?
Now it’s our turn to stomp and burn.
Come on – that’s only fair!
Oh Rachel, oh gentle Rachel,
We never knew you well.
But we know your kind, and we know you’re kind…
So may you burn in Hell!
Why did you try to understand?!
Why side with the oppressed?!
If you had only stayed at home,
You’d not be in this mess.
Take warning, others out there,
From what happened to this girl
For trying to “redress a wrong”;
Trying to change the World.
So close your eyes, stop up your ears,
Turn off your conscience too.
At least (we pray) look the other way,
’Cause we have work to do.
- Jimmy Hollis i Dickson
“My love to Olympia”
“I am staying put in Rafah for now”
This is not at all what I asked for
When I came into this world.
All this “Us and Them” , all this “Here and There”
All these flags and banners unfurled.
I think it [really] is a good
Idea for us all to drop
Everything and devote our lives
To making this [evil] stop.
I [ ] really want to dance [ ] to Pat Benatar,
But this was going on:
My taxes paying for cruelty.
It's wrong! It's wrong! It's WRONG!
Strange women wandering into the path of tanks,
Strange men being tender with kids.
Strange freaks of nature: opposed to War,
Doing something for Justice and Peace.
To some degree, we are all kids,
Curious about [each] other [ ].
Walk away from that machine of death
And I will call you Brother.
I hear you made a “regrettable mistake”.
That’s why I’m lying here.
(“Regrettable” not “regretted” - note that:
It’s optional, the tear.)
And it’s my fault for being where
I have no call to be.
You’re wrong: I heard it calling me
From right across the sea.
I had a dream: that Olympia
And Rafah would be Sisters,
Be linked by ties as strong as blood,
A bond of War-Resisters.
My dream’s come true, though at some cost.
Blood’s paid for my belief.
Rafah and Olympia
Are Sisters now in Grief.
I have a new dream, I beg of you:
Each woman, man, girl, boy.
Don’t let my death be a shoddy thing:
Be Sisters now in Joy.
It’s going to take a bit more work,
But I think you owe me that much:
Continue the struggle, but please, oh please!
Don’t forget the Human Touch.
- Rachel Corrie / Jimmy Hollis i Dickson
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“I don't like to use those charged words. I think you know this about me. I really value words.”
"Hate." I will not use that word
Not even as a motive of
Those who freely use it themselves
In speaking of someone I love.
So please use "Fear" or "Anger",
Those can be changed. But "Hate" (to me):
It seems so permanent.
And I don’t want to give up Hope
These people can be healed:
Harsh clichés be dissolved away
’Til they can really feel.
They never knew my sister
Or they would surely know
There was no hate in her huge heart,
Nor in her little toe.
My sister did not die in vain:
Her Peace Song will be sung.
That is no small achievement
For one who died so young.
Some day I’ll grey and granniefy,
My face will wear and weather,
But Rachel will live in my heart
And keep it young forever.
- Sarah Corrie Simpson / Jimmy Hollis i Dickson
Voice Of A Palestinian Child
[This poem is complete whimsy on my part. Any Palestinian old enough to be doing English homework would be perfectly aware of who Uncle Sam is. As Rachel pointed out in one of her e-mails home: “there are eight-year-olds here much more aware of the workings of the global power structure than I was just a few years ago.” And I’m absolutely convinced that – even a few days after Rachel’s death – there was not a child in all of Rafah who didn’t know what had happened. Perhaps this is a case of the Palestinian Child being (gently?) sarcastic with us westerners.] I should also state that I have no evidence that Rachel spoke of America or Uncle Sam in this way to the Palestinians: these are my thoughts.
Where is my sister Rachel,
Who used to come to us and stay?
Where is my blonde big sister,
Who came from, oh, so far away?
Won’t somebody please tell me:
Will she be coming back someday?
She helped me with my homework.
Somehow she made it seem like fun
To learn another language
So different from my mother tongue.
- Though there were words she didn’t like
To use: like ‘war’, and ‘hate’, and ‘gun’.
She said I should feel lucky
To be exactly where I am.
She said I wouldn’t like it much
In her exotic, distant land,
Where rules her wicked relative
(I think she called him ‘Uncle Sam’.)
“The richest man on earth,” she said,
“He’s rich because he steals and cheats
In countries where ‘Democracy’
Is just a lie that he repeats;
While relatives of his at home
Sleep in cardboard boxes on the streets.”
One Friday, in the morning,
We watched T.V., sat on the floor:
The Gummy Bears in Arabic.
The idea just made Rachel roar.
I’ve watched them like that all my life:
Don’t know what she was laughing for.
She used to play football with us,
She didn’t play it very well.
But everyone wanted her on their side:
We loved the way she’d run and yell;
And laugh and shrug her shoulders,
Pull funny faces when she fell.
Where is my sister Rachel?
And did she really have to go?!
She went away without a word
- Not like the Rachel that I know -
If you should see her anywhere,
Please tell her that I miss her so!
- Jimmy Hollis i Dickson
Voice of George W.
“The children also love to get me to practice my limited Arabic by asking me, "Kaif Sharon?" "Kaif Bush?" and they laugh when I say, "Bush Majnoon", "Sharon Majnoon" back in my limited arabic. (How is Sharon? How is Bush? Bush is crazy. Sharon is crazy.) Of course this isn't quite what I believe, and some of the adults who have the English correct me: "Bush mish Majnoon" ... Bush is a businessman. Today I tried to learn to say, "Bush is a tool", but I don't think it translated quite right.”
“Rachel Corrie: an American woman
With Palestinian blood in her veins”
You see?! – a traitor to her race:
We treat her with disdain.
The road to peace is land-mined,
It’s constant touch-and-go.
These gosh-darn meddling amateurs
Are messing up the show.
We’re trying to resolve this thing
With top-notch diplomats.
It doesn’t help to have to deal
With punks and snot-nosed brats.
Just leave it to the experts:
We’ll work it out some day
With face-saving for all concerned
Why should just the guilty pay?
You have to know to give and take;
And who, how much, and when:
We take from those who can’t afford
And give it to our friends.
Look, don’t blame ME for what I say,
I hear whispers in my ear:
The Voice Of God, or Karl Rove?
I’ve never been quite clear...
That Blair’s a wimp, Aznar’s a fool:
But both have served our scheme
- Though less than ol’ Osama Bin:
That man’s a golden dream!
The scum said I’d not really won:
That there had been foul play;
Along came ol’ Bin Laden,
Another for Afghanistan.
Bingo! It’s 9/11 ...
And BOTH fit in one plan!
Four thousand U.S. deaths who cares?!
Tens of thousands on the other side.
This is one we’re going to ride!
There’ll be a juicy slice for me.
And less whinging about Civil Rights
In ‘America The Free’.
We’re fighting here for Freedom.
Means giving up some rights:
Like the right to think, and to speak your own mind,
And other ideals just as trite.
You gotta expect some restrictions
If you want true Liberty.
Just who and what gets restricted?
Well, just leave all that up to me.
All this diverts attention
From my big friend Sharon:
So he can do just what he likes
In Gaza and Golan.
You see, we're mighty partic’ler
In deciding when to intervene:
Hussein in Kuwait? We come out guns a'blazin' -
Sharon in Gaza? We pretend we haven't seen.
We Desert-Stormed for ‘Democracy’
(The Democracy of eight per cent.
Real Democracy’s all very well
But it doesn’t pay the rent.)
Just like the Statue Of Liberty,
“I lift my lamp beside the door.”*
But I have got my eyes shut to
The Palestinian poor.
We protect the rich and powerful:
Our partners and our friends.
But “your poor, your huddled masses”*
They don’t pay dividends.
You have to know how to ignore
Those “yearning to breathe free”*
When they are yearning to be free
From those who’re friends to me.
And I’m a friend of big Sharon,
And he’s a friend of mine.
So I know how to turn a blind
Eye to The Palestine.
(I lift my lamp beside the door
And shine it in each caller’s eyes.
But hey! The door is made of gold*:
If you don’t get in, it’s no surprise.
Wait now! The Statue Of Liberty:
Wasn’t she a gift from France?
Let’s send her back to those traitors:
Let’s kick her in the pants!)
"Shoot first, and then ask questions"
You think this tactic works?!
Made the London police look like jerks!
Oh no, my friends, disciples,
You've got to learn this one:
"Shoot first, arrest the questioners"
THAT's how to get things done.
Someday I’ll pay for all my crimes
And they will pay for me.
I’ll get the better of the deal.
I always do: you’ll see!
I’ll get a slap upon the wrist.
I’ll take it like a man.
While mega oil concerns will pay
My platinum pension plan.
Then along come these young activists
To knock down what we’ve built;
And one dang-blasted, reckless girl
Has to go and get herself killed!
Well, who asked her to poke her nose
Where it did not belong?
A “regrettable mistake” – I’ll go with that:
But SHE was in the wrong.
Some call the girl a terrorist,
I’ve known it from the start:
To know some day her way will win
Strikes terror in my heart...
Voice Of A Jaddati [Palestinian Grandmother]
“Also, the woman who keeps the key for the well where we still sleep keeps asking me about you. She doesn't speak a bit of English, but she asks about my mom pretty frequently - wants to make sure I'm calling you.”
“I walked some way to B'razil, which is where Nidal and Mansur and Grandmother and Rafat and all the rest of the big family that has really wholeheartedly adopted me live. (The other day, by the way, Grandmother gave me a pantomimed lecture in Arabic that involved a lot of blowing and pointing to her black shawl. I got Nidal to tell her that my mother would appreciate knowing that someone here was giving me a lecture about smoking turning my lungs black.)”
This blond and blue-eyed young man
Came to me to ask for a few words
That he might turn into a poem:
‘A Song For Rachel’ or somesuch.
“ ‘A Song For Rachel’ ?” I snorted.
[I snort magnificently]
“Don’t you know that Rachel IS a song?!
We sing her in our lungs and throats,
We sing her in our hearts and veins,
We sing her in our bones.
“I will talk to you, Young Man,” I said,
Because you seem to me sincere.
But I will not have you chop and twist my words
To fit some rhyme or rhythm.
You may put down my words
Just as I speak them
- Or not at all.”
“Just as you wish,” he answered
“But why do you call me Young Man?
Can’t you see that my beard and half my hair are grey?
I’ll soon be reaching the half century.
Are you trying to flatter me?!”
“HA! ‘Young’ is no flattery for me,” I said.
“I’ll tell you what: when you have buried 3 grandchildren - as I have -
I’ll stop calling you young.”
The first, funny Ibrahim: always laughing,
At 3 years old we lost to bad water.
The occupiers had destroyed the one good well we had.
The second, smart, earnest Ali - only 8 years old -
Was throwing stones - as young boys here will do -
At Israeli tanks.
They opened fire. They were “provoked”.
Allah forgive them! To be provoked by babies!
The third - my lovely Ishtar -
Was studying to be a doctor.
She was among the top three in her class
[You will forgive an old woman's pride]
Yes: she was studying to be a doctor.
Not so she could make big money in America.
I do not, I will not, believe that of her.
She wanted to serve her people.
And, wanting to serve her people,
She was hurrying to a sick neighbour's home
When she was shot in the back.
“A stray bullet” they said. HA!
I know the meaning of that word ‘stray’.
It means to have no owner.
That bullet has had three owners:
It was paid for by American taxpayers;
It belonged for a while to the army of occupation;
Now it belongs to my Ishtar.
Her brother Mohammed, a headstrong boy,
- We were sitting at supper a few nights after Rachel died –
Said “Why all this fuss for a foreigner’s death?
Do THEY make a fuss when WE die?
Two thousand of us have been killed:
It doesn’t matter at all.
One blonde foreigner dies,
And there’s an international outcry.
They call her a martyr! A true martyr
Straps a belt of explosives to his body,
Commends himself to Allah,
And goes willingly to glorious death.
Her death was a stupid mistake:
She did not mean to die.
AND she was an infidel…”
I stood and picked up my bowl.
I said “I’m going to eat in my room:
I will not share the table with someone
Who talks of that brave girl
- Of any of them –
With anything less than respect.
She did not HAVE to come here:
She could have stayed in America,
In comfort, safety, and luxury.
She came to sleep on our floors:
In that very corner she has spent the night.
She thought her white skin, her blonde hair,
Her American passport would make her safe.
She was wrong. But she came
To make us safer.
Pah! I have said enough:
I go to my room.”
It took him all of two minutes
To come and knock at my door:
“Jaddati, forgive me! You are right.
I was being stupid. Please come back”
I saw the tears in his eyes
And forgave him at once. [If you want to know the truth:
I think he was sweet on that sweet girl
And had been trying to hide it.
Ah, foolish Youth!]
“No more talk of belts of explosives!
We have had enough deaths in this family:
To live for Peace and Justice
Is just as brave as to die for them.”
He went out that very night
After curfew – risking a bullet of his own.
He went and painted on a wall
Near the apartment the ISM use:
“Rachel Corrie: an American woman
With Palestinian blood in her veins.”
My grandchildren all have a way
Of making me proud.
And I am proud of Rachel:
Her funny attempts to pronounce Arabic,
Her affection for the children and us old women
- For all of us.
Her biting sense of humour.
Her burning sense of justice.
She could have been my granddaughter
She could have been my daughter
In mutual affection.
She is my sister
She is my friend.
I have seen and read the news:
They try to present us as terrorists.
Half literate, fanatic.
Vermin that need to be cleared away
To make THEIR settlements safe.
There are fanatics among us – I will not deny it.
But please don’t believe
We are all like that.
Just as Rachel and her wonderful friends
Of the ISM have shown us
- If ever we needed to learn –
That not all Americans vote for Bush
Or are uncultured fundamentalists;
Not all British young people
Care only about raves and Ecstasy;
Not all Swedes are cold.
And – because of Rachel –
We have been receiving messages
That not all Jews are Zionists;
Not all Israelis are pro-occupation.
Some have written to say
That they will go to jail
Rather than serve as occupying forces.
May Allah bless them – and her – for that.
I think about you every day
And have to cry a while.
But Rachel, here’s the best bit:
I think of you and smile.
You are a fresh oasis
Beneath the desert sun,
Make hot, hard work enjoyable,
Turn protest into fun.
We protect the people’s safety.
I, too, have done my part.
They let me in their homes, of course,
They let you in their hearts.
They care for every one of us,
Yeah sure: I know that’s true.
You held a special charm for them:
The children asked for you.
You know I had a crush on you?
[I flinch now at that word.]
I was a plodding tortoise,
You were a soaring bird.
For all my secret crush on you,
I only held you just
The one time: when Another
Had crushed you in the dust.
You took a part of each of us:
Left us the best of you.
We’ll dream your dream forever:
No less will ever do.
And as I knelt and held you,
I tried to catch your eye.
“Rachel, can you hear me?
You’ll never never never never never never die!”
- Jimmy Hollis i Dickson
“It really hurts me, again, like it has hurt me in the past, to witness how awful we can allow the world to be.”
“I am disappointed that this is the base reality of our world and that we, in fact, participate in it.”
“I am in the midst of a genocide which I am also indirectly supporting, and for which my government is largely responsible.”
“I look forward to more moments like February 15 when civil society wakes up en masse and issues massive and resonant evidence of its conscience, its unwillingness to be repressed, and its compassion for the suffering of others.”
“When I come back from Palestine, I probably will have nightmares and constantly feel guilty for not being here, but I can channel that into more work. Coming here is one of the better things I've ever done.”
It’s so easy to be pessimistic:
The news that comes in isn’t good.
It feels like we’re knocking our heads on brick walls
When we’d rather be knocking on wood.
[Hoping that people can learn from mistakes
And that things will turn out as they should.]
I remember in February, 2003
When we decided to stand on our feet,
Fed up with just watching those thugs on TV
Trying to lie to us, hoodwink us, cheat.
And all ’round the world in our millions
We rose up and went out on the street.
“No Blood For Oil”; “War’s Not The Way”;
“That Son-Of-A-Bush Ought To GO!!!”;
“Not With My Taxes And Not In My Name”;
“It Ain’t Necessarily So”;
“Drop Bush: Not Bombs”; “Make Tea: Not War”;
Oh, we put on a wonderful show!
And the feel of Togetherness, marching along!
We were finally going to be heard.
They couldn’t fool US with their WMD.
Their attempts to do so were absurd.
Let the weapons inspectors get on with their job,
And we’ll be awaiting their word.
The next day, what a buzz to look in on the Net!
Read reports from all over the Earth.
But ALL OVER! You know what THAT felt like?!
Like we were witnessing some kind of Birth!
…Then those gangsters went ahead and held their invasion:
Showed us just what our wishes are worth.
So my high hopes collapsed like a tower of cards
- They'd been built with the same kind of care.
And I wanted to start hibernating
Just like some tired old bear.
Even though it was coming on springtime,
I crawled off and curled up in my lair.
I fell into the trap of believing
All our efforts are just doomed to fail.
Our attempts to change the way things are
Are like hitting the hammer with the nail.
In spite of the best of intentions,
It’s violence that will always prevail.
Then I read about you, Rachel Corrie
And you made me ashamed of despair.
Don’t tell me that there are no solutions:
I’ll keep looking for them everywhere.
Because even in darkest America,
There are young people who still really care.
So I haven't the right to give up now,
To act like all hope has been spent.
Not with your example reminding
That it never is time to relent.
After you put your life and ideals on the line:
No less than one hundred percent.
Sometimes I wish that I'd met you
Known you better than just from afar.
And sometimes I'm SO glad I hadn't, 'cause then
Your death might have torn me apart.
As it is, it's produced this small miracle:
The re-opening up of my heart.
I’m jealous sometimes of your parents
For having a daughter like you;
But as my daughter, you wouldn't have turned out just the same,
And, Rachel, that just wouldn't do!
You’re unique and I’m proud of your Starshine
Even seen with my far-away view.
I've read that sometimes you felt guilty
For being a part of The Ill;
But the bad things your government did “in your name”
They most definitely did 'gainst your will.
And long after that whole gang lies rotting away
Your Star will be sparkling still...
- Jimmy Hollis i Dickson
“Love you. Really miss you. I have bad nightmares about tanks and bulldozers outside our house and you and me inside.”
“I think about this especially when I see orchards and greenhouses and fruit trees destroyed - just years of care and cultivation. I think about you and how long it takes to make things grow and what a labour of love it is.”
“Honestly, a lot of the time the sheer kindness of the people here, coupled with the overwhelming evidence of the wilful destruction of their lives, makes it seem unreal to me.”
To the driver of that bulldozer
I direct most of this song.
[It shouldn’t take much of your time:
It really isn’t all that long.]
Are you still convinced that you were so right,
And that Rachel was so wrong?
I wish you could have stepped down,
And looked into my daughter’s eyes.
If you had done that one small thing,
You’d have got a big surprise:
There was no hate for you there,
Despite all your leaders’ lies.
I wish that you had climbed down,
And shaken her by the hand.
Her wish was to help heal the open wound
That’s festering in your land.
It’s when we look though each other’s eyes
We begin to understand.
Oh, why didn’t you get down, Son:
Get down off your high horse? Oh why
Couldn’t you have given Peace a chance,
Have given it just a try?!
I hope our message reaches you.
I hope you learn to cry.
That isn’t meant as vengeance:
The best that you could do
Is learn to cry for what you’ve done,
And for what they’ve done to you.
Those aren’t friends who taught you not to care:
One day you’ll know that’s true.
To those who held my Rachel
As she was lying there:
I want to send my heartfelt thanks;
To say how much I care
She was surrounded by your love,
And not by strangers’ stares.
To all the mothers around the world
Who’ve seen your children die:
I want to hold you in my arms,
For you to hold me as we cry.
Politicians may explain as much as they want,
They will NEVER convince us of why.
- Cindy Corrie / Jimmy Hollis i Dickson
The Caterpillar® Song
Happy Birthday, Rachel!
I've been meaning to write this poem for over a year now. I had the idea to use the don't-blame-me excuse "I was only carrying out orders" and turn it into its business connotations. Caterpillar Inc. made the bulldozer that killed Rachel. They supplied the Israeli Army with these machines, knowing full well that they were being used to destroy people's homes. NOT people's ex-homes. The homes they were living in up to about 5 minutes before these homes were razed. Their ONLY homes. Whether Caterpillar Inc. supplies the Israeli Army directly or through agents is a spurious argument. I don't agree that they are "responsible" for the death of Rachel. But they are co-responsible for a lot of grief and hardship in Palestine. They KNOW what they're doing. It's because of this that I ask you to join the Caterpillar boycott, backed by more than 20 campaign groups and charities... ANYWAY, as I was saying, I'd been thinking of writing this "song" for a long time. Then, a few days ago (16th April, 2007), after waking, but before getting up, the whole thing started rushing out. Turns out I was 6 days late for Rachel's birthday, but that's the reason for the sub-title.
“... tanks and bulldozers destroyed 25 greenhouses - the livelihoods for 300 people.”
“The count of homes destroyed in Rafah since the beginning of this intifada is up around 600, by and large people with no connection to the resistance but who happen to live along the border. ”
“And then the bulldozers come and take out people's vegetable farms and gardens. What is left for people? Tell me if you can think of anything. I can't.”
“So I think when all means of survival is cut off in a pen (Gaza) which people can't get out of, I think that qualifies as genocide.”
We're just taking orders,
Just carrying out orders,
Just shipping out orders
To anyone who can pay.
I’m proud of our production line:
They'll build to your special design.
On the dotted: that's where you sign,
And won't you have a nice day!
I read the Financial Reports,
Sometimes I make it to the Sports.
No time for news of other sorts.
Rachel Corrie? Who she?
Making money surely ain't a crime?
The Israelis they pay on time:
Right down to the very last dime.
That's good enough for me.
Those A-rabs got no call to moan and shout:
They get plenty warning to get out.
If they stay put, there surely ain't no doubt:
They're an UNRULY mob!
I'm just making money
So don't you start to get funny!
Why don't you just run along, Honey,
And let me do my job?
I'm an executive of some repute.
I hope that there is no dispute.
My job is to execute.
What's that? What did I just say??
We're just taking orders,
Just carrying out orders,
Just shipping out orders
To anyone who can pay.
- Jimmy Hollis i Dickson
The Butterfly Song
(Voice Of Another Caterpillar® Victim)
On the morning of the 19th Oct., 2007, I got an e-mail telling me about a Day Of Action to protest Caterpillar®'s involvement in the destruction of Palestinian homes. I knew that over 2000 Palestinians had been killed by occupation forces in the last several years, but this was the first time that I learned that 17 of them had been killed – like Rachel Corrie – by Caterpillar® machines. You can find more information at: http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=1450
I wrote to the organisers, offering the use of my poem “The Caterpillar® Song” on the Day, and explaining that – as I was in Europe – I wouldn't be able to attend personally. I wrote that I would be there in spirit, and asked them to feel my presence.
As it turned out, I opened another e-mail which drove all thoughts of the Day Of Action from my head for the rest of the day. But perhaps some small part of me WAS there, unknown to my conscious mind, because the next day I woke up and wrote another poem before getting out of bed.
Here it is.
Love and Peace to all of us!
I never wished to live forever,
But I did not wish to die.
I tried to live the best I could
And watched each day slip by.
I watched them try to divide us,
I watched them build The Wall,
And noticed that each house too close
To it was doomed to fall.
They “justified” destruction
By claiming there were arms
Hidden in each one of those homes,
Just waiting to do harm.
Yes, there were arms in my home:
And legs, and hearts, and heads.
My arms would hug my children,
And carry them to bed.
My legs carried me out running
To face the Caterpillar®.
For where would my children sleep now,
If I gave in to this killer?
I am not blond like Rachel,
And I am not well-known.
Nobody ever wrote a play
In which my life was shown.
But Rachel is my sister,
My sister now in blood:
Both hers and mine have mixed with dust,
And turned it into mud.
The both of us have broken backs,
The both of us have gone,
But somehow hope with both our hearts
Our message will live on.
That message isn't Vengeance:
It's “Let Justice be done!
And ALL of you we've left behind:
PLEASE try to live as one!”
You will not know until it's gone
How precious is your Life.
Now while it's yours you waste it
In bitterness and strife!
Rachel and I have spread our wings
- No hindrance broken backs!
We both were turned to butterflies
'Neath Caterpillar® tracks.
We're not alone, Rachel and I,
That Caterpillar® has set free:
We're eighteen at the last count
– That's quite a family!
And we've made friends with Joel and Dan,
Once of “God's Chosen Race”:
'We died for “Israel”,' they say,
'Oh, what a stupid WASTE!'
Rachel has lost her passport
- Ridiculous hypocrisy -
That promised to protect her
When she was overseas.
And I'm not Palestinian,
There are no Israelis,
No nationalities after Death,
No fanatic ideologies.
So now I want to talk to YOU:
To speak as one-to-one,
Leaving aside our differences.
(That's how to get things done.)
Please do us both a favour:
Please get down on your knees,
And hug your children with ALL your heart,
Then hug them once for me.
For they're children of ALL of us,
And I've left mine with you.
Try to make the World better for them:
Must be SOMETHING you can do!
And if you see a butterfly
(With your children – or alone)
Don't treat it as a lesser thing,
For it – at least – has flown.
And what have you done lately
To spread your wings and fly?
Come on! The World is waiting:
You only have to try...
- Jimmy Hollis i Dickson
Voice Of A Gaza Citizen
(almost 6 years later) [for Iman]
It is now 2009. In 3 short weeks this past December and January over 1,300 Palestinian deaths have been added to the toll. The Israeli Government assures us that they are trying to spare innocent lives, that their “only” targets are the leaders of Hamas. It’s a DEAD shame that others get in the way… I know too little about Palestinian internal politics to take sides. But there are some things that I believe about Democracy and this poem is my reply. It was written in reply to an appeal for works of art for an auction organized by Valentines For Palestine. I contributed the poem and would like to thank them for permission to continue using it here and elsewhere. I have dedicated it to Iman, the 13-year-old mentioned in the 4th verse.
“ I thought a lot about what you said on the phone about Palestinian violence not helping the situation. Sixty thousand workers from Rafah worked in Israel two years ago. Now only 600 can go to Israel for jobs. Of these 600, many have moved, because the three checkpoints between here and Ashkelon (the closest city in Israel) make what used to be a 40-minute drive, now a 12-hour or impassible journey. In addition, what Rafah identified in 1999 as sources of economic growth are all completely destroyed - the Gaza international airport (runways demolished, totally closed); the border for trade with Egypt (now with a giant Israeli sniper tower in the middle of the crossing); access to the ocean (completely cut off in the last two years by a checkpoint and the Gush Katif settlement). The count of homes destroyed in Rafah since the beginning of this intifada is up around 600, by and large people with no connection to the resistance but who happen to live along the border. I think it is maybe official now that Rafah is the poorest place in the world. There used to be a middle class here - recently. We also get reports that in the past, Gazan flower shipments to Europe were delayed for two weeks at the Erez crossing for security inspections. You can imagine the value of two-week-old cut flowers in the European market, so that market dried up. And then the bulldozers come and take out people's vegetable farms and gardens. What is left for people? Tell me if you can think of anything. I can't.”
Listen to me, for there are things I have seen:
My People have been beaten and bullied and starved;
Our wells have been poisoned and our windows shot at;
Young children and old people have been cut down by stray bullets.
And the World has turned a blind eye.
We have wept and wailed over our dead;
We have called out for Justice and Peace.
And the World has turned a deaf ear.
Listen to me, for there are things I must say:
We have voted for one faction and it has done little good.
We have voted for another faction and it has done little good.
We have appealed to the Goodness and the Decency of the World at large.
And it has done little good.
Some few have turned to Violence and it has done little good.
When our leaders were moderates, you wouldn't listen to them.
When our leaders were hard-liners, you refused to talk to them.
Are you surprised that some have turned to Violence?
Listen to me, for there are things that are true:
This is a Democracy.
In free and fair elections, the People have chosen Hamas.
But the “democratic” leaders of the World have called Hamas
A Terrorist Organisation...
And so refused to deal with them.
Did I personally vote for Hamas?
You must respect my democratic right to keep my vote a secret.
But this I WILL say, and say it loud and clear:
My People have democratically chosen Hamas – this time – to represent them.
And when you refuse to deal with our chosen representatives,
It is a slap in the face to ALL of us.
And in the face of Democracy itself.
Listen to me, for there are things that are clear:
To the “democratic” politicians of the Free World,
You Newspeak Masters of Hypocrisy!
You are NOT democratic when YOU decide who OUR representatives must be.
So, you do not deal with Terrorist Organisations?
And yet you not only talk with but also sell arms to the Israeli Army:
Who arbitrarily keep people waiting for hours in the hot sun at checkpoints
- Students who won't get to school that day, the ill who won't see the doctor -
Whose snipers shoot at women going to the well,
Whose bulldozers destroy our orchards, our greenhouses, our homes.
We who live in Gaza know who the REAL terrorists are.
Believe me – I'm terrified.
Listen to me, for I will be heard:
To the Forces of Occupation and successive Israeli Governments I say:
You should be ASHAMED of yourselves!
You spit on the memory of one of your greatest heroes.
Did not young David – armed only with a few small stones -
Stride out to face invincible Goliath?
To anyone who is not blind with Preference or Prejudice
(Whichever word you wish: they are two sides of the same coin)
In this modern World, it is manifestly clear,
In this land that we both love: who is David, who is Goliath.
Listen to me, for I will not be silenced:
To the People of Israel I say:
You should be ASHAMED of yourselves!
You spit on the memory of your own martyrs.
It has been said that the greatest success of the Nazis
Was not to convince a few true believers to carry out atrocities,
But to condition the vast majority to Silence, to Allowing It To Happen.
Gaza is a modern Ghetto.
What more must be done before you wake up and realise
That you've become the mirror image of your grandparents' persecutors?
Listen to me, for you must also speak out:
To the People of the United States of America I say:
You should be ASHAMED of yourselves!
You spit on the memory of your founding idealists.
You call yourself the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.
And yet you allow a small but powerful lobby
To blackmail your Government into helping the Bully stomp on the Underdog:
The Underdog who has cried out to YOU for help.
You have allowed that Bully to murder one of your own
- Rachel Corrie (who DID reach out a hand to the Underdog) -
And you have not called out for Justice!
Go hang your heads in SHAME!
- Jimmy Hollis i Dickson
Money Talks / Blood Sings
(The Evergreen Song)
On June 2, 2010, students at The Evergreen State
College in Olympia, WA, Rachel's alma mater, made history by passing two
resolutions: a) for The Evergreen State College Foundation to divest from
companies that profit from Israel's illegal occupation of Palestine, as part of
instituting a socially responsible investment policy. 79.5% of those taking
part voted for this resolution! And b) calling on the College to ban the use of
Caterpillar, Inc. equipment from campus. Here the vote was 71.8%! These votes
marked the largest student voter turnout since the creation of Evergreen’s
While other US colleges have passed similar divestment resolutions, these are the first of such resolutions passed by direct vote by an entire student body.
In their call to others [us] to show support for their initiative, they mentioned the importance of economic pressure to influence official politics [such as the boycott of South African products that helped to put an end to Apartheid] using the words:
This poem is dedicated to them.
“The international media and our government are not going to tell us that we are effective, important, justified in our work, courageous, intelligent, valuable. We have to do that for each other, and one way we can do that is by continuing our work, visibly.”
“My love to Olympia”
While blood sings out.
When will all the killing end?
Not while money’s there to spend.
Not while War still turns a profit.
Now it’s up to US to stop it.
Every time a school’s destroyed,
There are fat cats overjoyed:
The shells that did it will be billed;
There’ll be a contract to rebuild.
Bless The Enemy’s little heart!
We’ll payroll him, too, if we’re smart:
’Cause every time he guts a tank...
That’s more money in the bank.
And every time he bombs a bus...
Replacement contracts come to us.
Who CARES that children, too, are killed?!
WE do! In fact, we’re really thrilled!
It only keeps emotions high:
Ensures that still more bullets fly.
The thirst for money won’t be quenched.
Every defeat must be avenged.
And so it spirals up and away...
As long as you and I still pay.
Divest of War:
Rock that boat!!!
One of Evergreen’s alumni
Went to Gaza, there to die.
That’s not the end of Rachel’s story.
And Evergreen students clearly state:
WE don’t want to pay for Hate.
The day that profits for War cease...
That’s the day we’ll live in Peace.
Jimmy Hollis i Dickson
Voice Of A Jewish Settler
This is another poem that I have been
meaning to write for some time. All the poems I’ve so far written “from the
point of view of someone opposed to what Rachel was doing” – the first in the
series, the ones “by” Bush and the Caterpillar® executive – weren’t REALLY from their point of view: they were from
MY imagining of their motives. They would never have said (out loud and
in public) what I put in their mouths.
In this following poem, however, I have tried to be strictly honest and write what certain Jewish settlers might be proud to say out loud. In doing so, I have drawn upon the sort of comments that 2 of my videos on YouTube [ “Rachel's Song” and "This Train Revised"] have attracted, as well as the postings I often read on blogs on various web-sites.
Jehovah promised us this land.
When we were prisoners in Egypt,
He promised us this land.
When we were too timid to seize it,
When we thought the Caananites were too strong to overcome,
He punished us.
Doesn’t that prove
That He means for us to hold this land
By force if necessary?
This is OUR land
By Jehovah’s decree.
When we were prisoners in the concentration camps,
He promised us this land.
If we are too timid to seize it and hold on to it,
He will punish us again.
No-one will be allowed to stand in our way.
We have a covenant with The Lord.
That gives us certain rights
And certain responsibilities.
One of the responsibilities
Is to take care of the land He gave us;
To defend it.
If need be with our lives.
These meddling foreigners:
They know NOTHING of how we have suffered,
How we have been abused!
Some of them are terrorists in spirit.
They HATE the Jews.
Perhaps they are jealous
Of our covenant with The Lord?
Perhaps they resent us
For being the Chosen Ones?
Others are just dupes.
They believe the LIES that are spread about us.
They are fooled by the smooth tongues
Of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine
And the International Solidarity Movement
- Both KNOWN cover groups for TERRORISTS –
Who use children and naive foreigners as human shields.
As diversion tactics and propaganda agents
While THEY dig their tunnels and plant their bombs.
Which makes the naive foreigners
De facto terrorists.
And now our own country!
Is destroying those homes
And chasing us out of the land.
The land that Jehovah promised us!
All to appease International Opinion,
To bow down to those that hate us!
Will our suffering never cease?
This Rachel Corrie.
The one they call "Saint Pancake" HAHAHA.
"Saint Pancake"! Get it? Get it?
Awww, if you don't get it, you're just plain stupid.
And if you get it but don't find it funny,
You've got no sense of humour.
Anyway, this Rachel Corrie.
I do not know if she was de facto or in spirit.
But didn’t she burn her own country’s flag?
Wasn’t she an ACTIVE propagandist for the terrorists?
Didn’t she take sides
Against Jehovah’s Chosen People?
I am glad she is dead.
She should burn in hell for an eternity.!
* "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.
I lift my lamp beside the golden door."
--quote from Emma Lazarus, Inscribed on Statue of Liberty
I copied out this poem for the sake of those non-USA readers who won’t have come across it before and wouldn’t understand George W.’s quoting from it. But it occurs to me now that USA citizens would also do well to read it over again. Its message seems to have been forgotten…
read another review of the play “My Name Is Rachel Corrie”
open separate window to http://www.rachelcorriefoundation.org/
or leave this site and go to http://www.rachelcorriefoundation.org/
return to http://www.jimmsfairytales.com/
If you would like to comment on Rachel's life and work, I suggest that you contact her web-site (click on the banner below)
If you would like to comment on THIS particular tribute to
her, I would be thrilled to hear from you. It's always nice to know you're
reaching SOMEONE. I'll be opening up a separate page
of comments - both negative and positive (because EVERYBODY has the right
to be heard). Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
I would appreciate it if you would give the address of this tribute page to your friends and acquaintances: Spread the word!
And to citizens of the U.S.A.: You could write to your Congressperson, explaining that you KNOW that they are very busy people, but could they PLEASE take just 5 minutes to read the 2nd paragraph on this page?