A Visual Meditation on the Cost of War

An exhibition on the human cost of the Iraq war will be on display at the Medford Friends Meeting House for four days beginning Thursday.

More than 70 pairs of combat boots, each marked with the name of a fallen New Jersey soldier, will be on display during Eyes Wide Open, an exhibit coordinated by the Philadelphia-based American Friends Service Committee.

The committee created the exhibit in 2004 in Chicago after the Iraq war had claimed the lives of 500 U.S. soldiers.

Eyes Wide Open used to be a traveling exhibit, but due to the growing number of U.S. casualties, it has become too large to tour the country, said Iris Bieri, a project coordinator for the committee.

Instead, the committee has split the memorial into 50 state exhibits in order to take Eyes Wide Open to small communities in each state.

The Medford exhibit will be open to the public on the meeting house grounds at 14 Union St. from 6 to 9 p.m. July 3; 12 to 4 p.m. July 4; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 5; and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 6.

“This honors the men and women who gave their lives, and it illustrates to people the cost of war,” said George Rubin, a member of the Medford Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends.

Rubin, a World War II veteran and former prisoner of war, said the memorial “reminds people that there is a war going on, and it gives them a chance to think and reflect on it.”

Bieri said the boots that will be on display are only representative of the soldiers who died, but one pair actually were worn by a soldier.

Some of the boots will be situated next to pictures of soldiers and other items donated by the soldiers' family, Bieri said.

Via: Burlington County Times, June 30, 2008

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