Saturday, September 03, 2005

We meet Yasser and then go pray

Sunday morning was also when Tina met Yasser, a remarkable young man from Los Angeles who is active in social justice work in the Latino community. Yasser’s father was a Guatemalan revolutionary, assassinated when Yasser was a week old. The people collected money and sent Yasser’s mother to California to escape the danger, baby Yasser stayed behind with his aunt until he was 5.

He is a committed socialist, and is brave and passionate and puts his body on the line whenever asked. He camps on the border and faces down Minutemen. He joins human barriers between skinheads and day laborers. He advocates on behalf of downtown communities trying to save their garden, planted in a vacant lot and feeding many families.

He’s also very handsome and funny, and moved easily to tears. He’s always ready with a hug when you need it. Tina and I are really grateful that we live so close to him, and will be able to keep him in our lives.

We decided to head over to Camp II for the interfaith prayer service, although I really wanted to make sure that I could get back to Camp I for the remainder of the day. We arrived at Camp II for the end of a prayer led by Rev Al Sharpton, and then everyone filed out, stopping to grab some of the 40,000 roses that had been delivered for the memorial. Cindy and Al went to the front of the Arlington South site, knelt and prayed and laid roses on crosses. The rest of us filed solemnly into the rows and rows of crosses and boots and Texas flags, and laid roses, and cried, and prayed. As I sat with the cross of a soldier, a Gold Star family behind me sobbed. When they stood I went and hugged the woman tightly, and her tears fell on my shoulder.

I went to the tent and retrieved rubber bands, and went among the crosses making sure that roses and names were secure. I found myself sitting with a pair of boots and sobbing. A photographer snapped some photos and asked who I’d lost. I blinked and said no one- but really, we’ve all lost almost 2000 of our children, haven’t we?

Saif came and hugged me and made me giggle. I left the memorial and wandered into the tent, sat in on a few interviews and thanked the clergy that had come and given us such a beautiful morning. I found Eric, who hadn’t been to Camp I yet, and really wanted to see it. We drove back, and I settled down in front of the snack table, and snapped pics and got a few updates.


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