Posts Tagged ‘Portland’

Labor Day, Day Labor

September 11, 2009

The Iraq Names Project flows with a continuous line. The names are written chronologically. Often where a name falls will take on added meaning. Casey Sheehan’s name fell at Peace Park, just happened that way.

Labor Day 2009 the project just happened to be at the Day Labor site on NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd & NE Lloyd Ave.

Nancy will be out of town and unable to chalk Monday September 14th.

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.

Rememberance

May 6, 2009

Stephen Okray was 21 years old when he died.

St. Clair Shores, Michigan was where he grew up, and took lots of risks. “He never got hurt, he always just bounced,” said his brother Jeff.

He was very family oriented and his Christmas Eve 2008 death left friends and family devastated.

Veterans For Peace

February 11, 2009

Nancy has returned to chalking on Monday mornings, 7:15am ish.
She is currently on NE Holladay near 5th Ave.

Tonight February 10th she will be presenting the Iraq Names Project at the Veterans For Peace Monthly meeting. (How is that for short notice?)
7 PM, at the First Unitarian Church, 1011 SW 12th Ave.

The Veterans For Peace includes men and women veterans of all eras and duty stations including the current Iraq war as well as other conflicts. Their collective experience tells us wars are easy to start and hard to stop and that those hurt are often the innocent. Thus, other means of problem solving are necessary.

The Portland Chapter created and maintains Peace Memorial Park on the East side of the Steel Bridge.

Veteran Mike Kennedy chalks his family name.

Martin Luther King Jr Day

January 20, 2009

I have just reread Martin Luther King’s Letter From Birmingham City Jail.

Reading the letter reminds me why I join Nancy to chalk on freezing cold mornings.

This morning was freezing cold. Nancy and a few hardy friends took a few minutes to remember Anthony Davis and Warren Frank, in front of the Liberty Centre a few blocks from Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard.

Warren Frank was 26 years old when he died.  Frank was from Anderson Township near Cincinnati Ohio. “Our son wanted nothing more than to make a difference in our world,” said Frank’s father, Warren R. Frank, in a statement sent to the media. “He was not a movie version soldier, but a man who looked forward to loving his children, retiring from the service of his country, teaching history at a high school and coaching track.” He was working on a food distribution mission North of Baghdad when he was killed.

Anthony Davis was 43 years old when he was killed. Anthony Davis from East Baltimore Maryland and living in Triangle Virgina, had volunteered for humanitarian assistance duty. He was working on the same humanitarian food drop as Warren Frank when he was killed.  He worked assessing schools and arranging for repairs and supplies. His eighteen year old daughter, Diana, collected soccer balls for distribution to Iraqi children.

“We must remain vigilant and pray that we are getting through to the younger generation, who will one day inherit this nation, so that they remember us as peaceful and encouraging not intruders and invaders,” Davis wrote in an e-mail.

Volunteerism was part of Anthony’s life. His mother made sure he, and his 16 brother and sisters, did volunteer work when they were growing up.

A brother, husband, father of 5 and grandfather of 1. Our thoughts go out to them and to Warren Frank’s family.

Memorial

January 7, 2009

Many people have commented how the Iraq Names Project reminds them of Maya Lin’s Viet Nam Memorial. When people see the names it personalizes the war. There is a realization that these are not abstract heroes fighting far away, these are our neighbors, the kid down the street, firefighters, teachers and clerks.

Last month the Iraq Names Project was next to the granite wall at the Bonneville Power Administration building making the connection to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in DC even stronger.

Here is a page of links to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Please visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial if you get a chance.

Remembering Sacrifice

January 6, 2009
Photo by Clint

Photo by Clint

Ryan Jopek was 20 years old when he died. He made his home in Merrill Wisconsin. Ryan loved his 1966 Chevy pickup truck. According to a resolution passed by the Wisconsin legislature, he was a Chicago Bears fan and modeled his life after Walter Payton.

Matthew Stanley was 22 years old when he died in Iraq. He grew up in Wolfeboro New Hampshire. Matthew is remembered by his large family as a very responsible teenager, he worked in his uncle’s seafood business, helped raise younger cousins and was fun to be around.

Our friend Clint suggested, back when it was topical, that I write about the soldiers whose names are on bracelets worn by John McCain and Barack Obama. First McCain and then Obama mentioned the bracelets during the debates. McCain mentioned his bracelet and Matthew Stanley first. Obama had to decide if he was going to mention Ryan Jopek. Ryan’s mother had asked Obama not to use her sons names in speeches. She simply asked that he remember her son and try to end the killing so other mothers don’t have to suffer. After the debate she said that she was “ecstatic” when Obama mentioned her son.

These 2 young men, with brothers and sisters and parents and cousins and aunts and uncles, will be remembered not just by their families and friends, but by all of us and historians for their part in war, and in presidential politics.

I had not heard of these memorial bracelets before last summer. It was when Nancy was drawing names of the dead on NE Broadway that she met a woman who still wore the bracelet of a friend of who died in Viet Nam decades ago.

Nancy will start chalking again, as soon as the weather allows. The schedule and location are below.

Schedule Update

December 1, 2008

Nancy will be chalking every weekday morning weather permitting.
7:15am is when she tries to start.

The Iraq Names Project is currently On NE Holladay St Below NE 9th Ave heading toward NE 7th Ave.

The Carousel Court Yard Block, where the project is now, and the Liberty Centre in the next block, are owned by Ashforth Pacific. We talked to Ashforth Pacific before starting on the public sidewalk in front of their buildings. They assured us they supported the project. So we were surprised to see them hose off the sidewalk shortly after we left.

If you would like to talk to Ashforth Pacific call them at, 503-233-4048,
write them at:
825 NE Multnomah Street, Suite 1275
Portland, OR 97232
Email them at, wlange@ashforthpacific.com

Remembrance

November 12, 2008

Veterans Day Remembrance.

Jamel Bryant of Belleville Il was 22 years old when he died September 27th. He joined the army 2 years ago to become a better man. Jamal was a self taught piano player, music producer and rapper.

He was known for his resourcefulness and for mentoring children. In Iraq he was always giving candy to local children.


Daniel R. Sexton of Wentzville Missouri was 53 years old when he died. He joined the Army when he was 33. The same age as me he joined the Army because of guilt he felt for missing the Vietnam war. He is remembered by his wife and sons.

He is one of the 34 coalition members over the age of 50 who have died in Iraq.

The oldest coalition soldier to die in Iraq is Sidney J. Marceaux. Sidney was 69 years old when he died September 14th. He stayed on past retirement because of the shortage of Catholic priests.

Sidney was From Beaumont Texas. He explained “I was able to exercise my priesthood in a way I couldn’t in a diocese,” Marceaux said. “I was able to help them face death daily. They knew they had to go out and they knew they may not come back.”

Because of rain Nancy has not been able to get out and draw names the last few weeks. If things clear up she will chalk again on Monday at 7:15am.

The War Continues

September 22, 2008

To hear The President tell it you might think the Iraq war is over. Nothing could be further from the truth. Coalition soldiers continue to die almost daily.

Every Friday morning Nancy remembers them by drawing their names on the sidewalk.

Please join her:
NE Multnomah Ave between NE 11th and NE 9th. (On the Max line near the Lloyd Center.)
Friday Mornings About 7:15am (Ending by 8am.)

Rememberance, Steven Fitzmorris

September 22, 2008

Steven Fitzmorris was 26 years old when he died.

A Columbia Missouri father, husband, brother and son, he was known for his charm and sense of adventure.

Circumstances of his death vary. When his family heard of his death, they were unable to get information from the military. The reports they received told them that Steven had been ordered on patrol without body armor, or a partner. After being shot he lived through surgery, and for another 24 hours. But the family was never contacted, even though he was conscious for some of that time.

It may have taken days, but now the official military report says, he was wearing armor, was with other soldiers and died with in 3 hours of being shot.

Communication is a tricky thing. Nancy wrote Fitzmorris’ name on what she thought was public sidewalk, in front of the Intergra Telecommunications building. Integra officials told her the sidwalk under the awning was private property and proceeded to wash the name off the sidewalk.

She moved and started drawing the name again. Again Integra washed the name off before she was done.

She explained she had written the name of every soldier killed in Iraq in a continuous line now 14 miles long. Fitzmorris was the 4,461st name of a coalition soldier she had drawn.

She let them know, she was going to honor Firzmorris, they could do what they wanted once she was done. Finally, a building manager showed her where Integra proprety ended and public sidewalk began. They allowed her to draw names there, but then washed them off at the end of the day.

Communication is a tricky thing. I would have hoped that Integra Telecommunications, being in the communication business, would have been better communicators.

I am going to let them know I am not happy with the way they treat the memory of our fallen soldiers. (503) 453-8777, or-info@integratelecom.com

UPDATE: I have talked to Integra Telecom, who share my feelings. They do not own the building. The building is owned and managed by Ashforth Pacific 503-233-4048

Nancy Is Still Working Hard

August 26, 2008

It has been months since I have updated the blog or the web site, but Nancy has not missed a Friday morning. Readers of this blog can be forgiven if thought Nancy was no longer remembering those who are sacrificing in Iraq. Rest assured, every Friday morning Nancy gets up early, adds the names of those who died in the last week to her list, and heads out in the early dawn light to draw their names.

She is currently drawing on the brick on NE Holladay St, between 13th and 11th, heading toward Martin Luther King Jr Blvd. She tries to start by 7:15am, but sometimes is running late. She would love for you to join her some morning.