Archive for July, 2008

Iraq Names Project and Nordstroms

July 3, 2008

Ceasar, whose brother is currently deployed in iraq, colors in a name out side of Nordstroms, May 6th 2008.


Caesar helps color in a name out side or Nordstrom, May 6th.

I wanted to write about somethings that happened a few months back. In May Nancy was drawing every morning, first down NE Broadway, then down NE 10th to the Lloyd Center. We met many great people along the away. We got a thank you from soldiers assigned to the Armed Services Recruiting Station on NE Broadway. On 10th we met Caesar, who joined Nancy every weekday morning for a week or 2. Caesar’s brother is deployed in Iraq, and he was thankful for a chance to remember those who had been there.

I was not surprised that when Nancy got to the Lloyd Center she was closely scrutinized by the Lloyd security. In fact they called the police the first day she was on the sidewalk around the center. The officer who came, like all others Nancy has met in the last year, thanked her for her good work. The officers I have talked to are also veterans and supportive of the project. As long as Nancy is on the public sidewalk she has the green light from the City of Portland to continue.

All went fine until Nancy was along side the Nordstrom at the Lloyd Center. Every morning Nancy would draw the names of those who had died. Every night Nordstrom would wash them off. So Nancy went in one morning to let them know what she was doing and ask them not to wash off the names. She was met by security. Security quickly told her they knew who she was and what she was doing. When she asked them about washing off the sidewalk she was told she had to leave the premises.

Nancy was more than a little peeved.

Then we started hearing from the family of PFC Aaron J. Ward.
Aaron was killed in Iraq on May 6th.
He was 19.
His was the 4,385 name Nancy wrote.
His family was bothered that Nordstrom would wash off the names. So they contacted Nordstrom. All a big misunderstanding according to Store Administrator Kryn Scoggins; “I hope you will accept our sincerest apologies for missing the relevance of the project; we would never intentionally insult such a beautiful and important acknowledgement of our national heroes.” By that time we were past Nordstrom and there was nothing more to be done. Last week Aaron’s name was still lightly legible over near Stanfords. Faded by time and weather and traffic. But never forgotten.

On July 4th Nancy will draw on NE Multnomah, by Holladay Park near NE 13th.
She will start at 9am.
Please come join her.

Rememberances

July 2, 2008

Du Hai Tran of Reseda California was 30 years old when he died June 20th, 2008.

Gregory T. Dalessio of Cherry Hill, NJ was 30 when he died June 23rd, 2008. The oldest of 8 children, he had an education degree and a masters in diplomacy and international relations from Seton Hall.

Dwayne M. Kelley of Willingboro, NJ was killed June 24th, 2008. A NJ State Trooper he was in Iraq with an army Civil Affairs unit working on community development restoring local government.

James M. Yohn of Highspire, PA was 25 years old when he died June 25th, 2008. His son is due in a few weeks. His wife can already see the father/son resemblance in the ultrasound pictures.

Now that Nancy is drawing just once a week, on Friday mornings as names are released, the names she writes become more and more immediate. Personal. This last week the DOD listed the 4 names above plus “8 names not yet released”. A chilling reminder that she will be back on Friday July 4th (9am), with at least 8 more names, 8 more people, 8 more State Troopers, and diplomats, and parents and spouses.