Posts Tagged ‘Oregon’

New Summer Schedule

June 18, 2009

The Iraq Names Project continues.
Nancy will continue to draw the names of all coalition soldiers who die in Iraq.
Currently she is in front of the Convention Center on NE Martin Luther King Blvd near NE Pacific Ave, heading toward the Burnside Bridge.

You are welcomed to join her and help chalk names.
Mondays 9am to 10am.

Remembrance Wiens and Cooper

February 25, 2008

Kory Duane Wiens of Independence Oregon, trained a mine sniffing dog; Cooper. Both of them were deployed to Iraq. He wrote “Having a lot of fun, hard to believe huh? Well, I have Cooper with me so everything is alright.” He told the Army Public Affairs “I got to teach him all the things he knows today,” Wiens said. “Seeing him out there working is very rewarding. It’s amazing to see how far he’s come.”

His friends remember him as a caring person who was always ready to help.


He died July 7th 2007 with his service dog Cooper.


Blake Stephens Return With Honor

January 16, 2008

Nancy started drawing the names of soldiers who had died in Iraq on Memorial Day 2007. About a week later she received a card from a woman who asked her if she would be chalking the name of her brother, Sgt Blake Stephens. “I’m not sure if your project will get to #3,400+… but he would be honored to be named with other heroes from this war.” This Sunday, just 8 blocks from his sister’s house Nancy drew the name Blake Stephens. Later that day, Blake’s sister, 2 nephews and his mother (visiting from Idaho) filled in the chalk outline. Monday’s rain washed all that away, but Wednesday Nancy will redraw the name. We are hoping for a week of dry weather so people can stop by NE 33rd by Grant park and pay their respects.

Blake Stephens loved the military, his wife and his family. Blake met his wife, Erin, when they were based at Hill Air Force Base in Utah. She was serving in the Air Force and he the National Guard. Erin had been to Iraq 3 times when Blake decided to he needed to go to Iraq and signed up with the Army. She had a hard time supporting his decision, but understood that it was something he had to do.

He is missed every day, but never forgotten. 


January 11, 2008

Between showers, downpours and torrents she will be laying down the chalk and remembering those who have sacrificed.


December 3, 2007

Nancy was drawing early one morning this week when the trash recycler stopped and asked her what she was doing. Nancy explained the project and gave him a hand out. “You just wrote my name” he said. He told Nancy he had never met anyone with his name. Ross Clevenger was 21 years old when he died February 8, 2007. Rocco, as he was called, believed in the unbelievable. From Givens Hot Springs, Idaho, he was a fan of Big Foot and knew all about dinosaurs.

Schedule and Rememberance

December 3, 2007

No chalking Sunday December 2nd.

If the weather permits:
Monday – Friday 7am-8pm
Saturday – Sunday 11am-2pm
NE 28th Between Stanton and Knott

If the weather is more dry than wet, more still than moving, drawing names will happen.

On December 1st Nancy went out into the weather and tried to chalk. It was snowing when she started, then it cleared up, but then it started to rain. The unpredictability was driving her crazy, so she went home after writing Madore.

Ronnie Madore was 34 years old when he died.  The San Diego native was on his 4th tour in Iraq. Brandy Humpleby who served in Iraq with Ronnie said, “It was when I met his family that I really saw him shine. There was none of that gruff exterior that he always showed at work. He was a big softy, though I don’t know anyone who would ever say that to his face. Anyone who loved his family as much as he did must be a great man.”


November 13, 2007

Ryan L. Mayhan was 25 when he died December 21st 2006. His neighbors and friends and family in Hawthorne, California, remember him as fun to be around, quiet and respectful, never hanging out with the wrong people.

Gloria D. Davis was 47 years old when she died December 12th 2006. She was remembered as a hero in the small town of Portageville Missouri. Just before she died she made a dvd or herself reading Sesame Street stories for her 6 year old granddaughter. She always wanted to help. When she was home in Northern Virginia she volunteered in homeless shelters and worked with ROTC to encouraged African American youth to get an education. She had earned her masters degree and her daughter is in dental school at Howard University. Gloria was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.


November 13, 2007

Robert L Love died December 1st 2006. He was 28 years old and from Livingston AL, just over the boarder from Meridian Mississippi. He joined the military straight out of high school. While stationed in Germany he met his wife, also a soldier in the Army. One of 5 children he is also missed by his 2 daughters.

Jeannette T. Dunn, was 44 years old when she died. From the Bronx, NY she had been stationed in Fort Hood Texas. She was a mechanic and will be missed many.

Nicholas Rapavi was 22 years old when he died November 22nd 2006. He wanted to be a Marine since before he was in high school and was proud to have fulfilled his dream. Remembered for being the most unselfish person you could know, he is missed by all his grandparents, parents and brothers, as well as friends and his Marine brothers.


October 23, 2007

This is Clint chalking in the damp early morning darkness. Clint created the Iraq Names Project MAP for the us and often joins Nancy to help chalk. Follow this link for lots more photos.

A Missive From Nancy

September 9, 2007

The most common response is, “Thank you.”

Then people say, “I hope it doesn’t rain” 

On September 2nd Nancy Hiss wrote:

On Memorial Day of this year, I knelt down in front of the Edith Green Wendell Wyatt Federal Building and wrote March 21, 2003 in chalk. As I was writing two guards walked out and watched over me. When I finished they asked, “March 21? What is that?” I responded, “That was the first day that a soldier died in the Iraq war.” I handed them a written description of the project and they walked away.

Then I wrote; Aubin, Beaupre, Cecil, Childers, Evans, Gutierrez and on and on. To date, I have written 2,445 names covering over 6 miles. The Iraq Names Project is a memorial, a demonstration, a personal cleansing; it is an act to honor sacrifice and to recognize interdependence.

The concept is so simple it can be explained by a five -year old. The act is so simple it can be shared by Girl Scouts, eighty year old women, students, friends, neighbors, passersby, draft age boys, survivors of Nazi Germany, veterans, everyone. Over 100 people have knelt down with me on the sidewalk to share in this experience. Some people chalk in one name. Some people come back week after week.

People are drawn to the aesthetic of the beautifully drawn names. Many are amazed that it spans 6 miles and I am only on March 2006. Many say that it is powerful. Some are moved to tears. Some stop to tell stories.

One young man asked what I was doing. “I’m writing the names of the U.S. and international coalition forces who have died in Iraq.” He responded “You just wrote my name, Rivers.” There was a long silence while the hairs stood up on the back of my neck. “I’m glad it’s not you.” “Yea, me too.” Names are very powerful. Dates are very powerful.

Only last names are written to acknowledge the loss, not just of individuals, but of families. Oregonians are written in white, all other names are written in colors. It is neutral. It is inclusive. It is a way to share in sacrifice. It is an act of peacemaking.

When it rains the names and dates are washed away, symbolic that these people are gone.

Thank you. 

A Fun and Emotional Saturday

June 26, 2007

When I found Nancy Saturday morning Nicky was there helping out. Nicky and her husband had stumbled on the Iraq Names Project a week before and stopped to help. Now she was back for more. Nicky survived Hitler’s Germany. Her brother survived both Hitler and Stalin. Knowing something about the horrors of war she was ready to help.

Our good friend Ned showed up a little later. Ned has military age children.

Here Ned is working on the date March 21st 2004. The first anniversary of the war.

In the background on the left side of the Portland skyline that last pointy building you see is the KOIN Tower which is next to the Federal Building where Nancy Hiss started drawing names back on Memorial Day. She has drawn a continuous line of names 2 miles at this point.

John D Amos II was 22 when he died April 4th 2004. Back in Indiana his mother said he would have loved all the attention he was now getting. In his Letter From Birmingham Jail Martin Luther King quoted the Prophet Amos “Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.”

We had hoped to be at Peace Memorial Park on 4th of July, but we got there on June 23rd instead. Peace Park is maintained by Veterans For Peace Chapter 72.

Some how it seems fitting that Casey Sheenhan’s name landed right there at Peace Memorial Park. Casey’s mom used to work with a great organization called Gold Star Families For Peace.

Philip Rogers or Gresham Oregon was 19 when he died. He loved to draw, not fight. Like many he joined the Army to get money for college.

These folks did not stick around long enough for me to talk to them. Nancy is talking to a member of Veterans For Peace. With him are his wife (I think) and Zahra Hamid Sultan. Ms Sultan is an Iraqi refugee living in Jordan. She speaks internationally on the blight of the nearly 2 million Iraqi refugees.

On Seeing the Same Name Over and Over

June 11, 2007

I’ve noted before that same names often come up over and over. Seeing the same name again and again makes one think about the lose to family. It was very emotional today when Nancy noticed that a Johnson died on consecutive days.

On 10/20/03 Paul J Johnson, 29, of Calumet Michigan was killed in a helicopter crash. . A committed soldier PJ is survived by a son and his wife Malissa who serves in the Air Force.

John P Johnson died on 10/22/03. John was 24 years old. He was from Houston Texas.

Usually a computer search for a fallen soldier will result in multiple articles with quotes from the family and biographical information. There is very little information about John P Johnson and Paul J Johnson. That they will be missed is clear. 24 Johnsons have died in Iraq since the start of the war.