October 27, 2011


by Lauren O'Dell
Photo by Lauren O'Dell
Combat boots and civilian shoes lined the bricks of Democracy Plaza today. One hundred and eighty combat boots were neatly placed within the plaza in an effort to show the cost of the war in Iraq.

The American Friends Service Committee organized the event for IUPUI. They believe that “real peace is more than the absence of war,” and they strive to show the war in more relatable terms.

“It’s a visual representation of the cost of war, the human cost,” Faryal Khatri, a student and event co-sponsor, said. “It puts things into perspective.”

The exhibition on the human cost of war attempted to represent that there is more to the war in Iraq than the financial costs, the boots signify the lives lost since 2002.

Photo by Lauren O'Dell
The civilian shoes are present to symbolize the Iraqi lives that have been lost as a result of the U.S.-led invasion, more than 80,000 civilian deaths are estimated.

“I see all these boots of the service men and women, and just feel like I should be giving back,” volunteer Allison Hammer said.

Military personnel wore the boots that are purposely scattered around Democracy Plaza; they have been donated from the U.S. Government.

Hammer and Khatri sit with their clipboard full of information, a list of all service personnel who have died as a result of the war in Iraq. The ages range from 19 to 44, while most gave their lives while in their mid-20s.

“Not a lot of people seem to be stopping, it’s unfortunate,” graduate student Matthew Pike said. “Even if you don’t know someone who’s been directly affected, having something like this makes the cause more visible.”

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