Flag exhibit honors Iraq War casualties

They were sons and daughters, sisters and brothers, warriors and heroes. Now, the men and women in uniform, as well as Iraqis who have given their lives since the beginning of the Iraq War, will be honored by Southern Oregon University.

In memoriam of fallen American soldiers and Iraqi citizens, SOU's Students for Truth club is hosting the "Iraq Body Count Exhibit" on the Churchill lawn facing Siskiyou Boulevard, Saturday, April 26. The exhibit will be displayed through the week until May 3.

"The sight of the sheer volume of flags representing the lives of the civilians lost in the war is a real spiritual experience," said Irene Kai, an Ashland artist and organizer for the event. "The exhibit is not political. The viewers just experience an overwhelming sense of loss. They will draw their own conclusions."

More than 100 volunteers are needed to to help place 120,738 white flags on the Churchill lawn, and those interested should meet outside Churchill Hall at 9 a.m Saturday. One flag will symbolize about five deaths, and 120,000 white flags will represent 655,000 Iraqi casualties. American deaths will be represented by 738 red flags, symbolizing 4,025 dead.

The exhibit started on a college campus at the University of Colorado, Boulder in 2006 and has since traveled from Washington D.C. to Portland State University and the University of Oregon, among others. The flag exhibit is the first on the SOU campus.

The "Iraq Body Count Exhibit" is sponsored by Peace House, Students For Truth, South Mountain Friends, Citizens for Peace and Justice, Rogue Valley and Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.

For more information on the exhibit, go online to .

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