By Fernando Suarez del Solar
Seven years have passed since the darkest day of my life. On March 27, 2003, my son Jesús died in an unnecessary war against the Iraqi people.
His death was caused by U.S. weapons and an arrogant president named Bush. Today marks seven years since that day; seven years filled with weeping fathers, mothers, wives, sons, and daughters who have lost in that immoral war someone they loved.
Today, with a new president in the White House, things have not changed for the better. With Mr. Bush we knew that death and killing were an unbearable part of everyday life. With Mr. Obama as president we note little difference, for U.S. troops are still in Iraq, there is more insecurity at home, and there is a rising fear that Obama's promises about peace will not be kept.
Today, seven years after my son's passing, I think back to my trip to Iraq in 2003. I see the abandoned orphans in the streets; today they must be teenagers, some of them armed and ready to defend their country against the young soldiers who still occupy it. This is what haunts me--that this war has ruined innocent lives and set them on a course toward violence.
And so I ask Mr. Obama, who won the Nobel Peace prize in 2009, to live up to the standards of that prize he did not deserve and renew order in Iraq by withdrawing our sons and daughters. Let us leave in peace a nation that never harmed us.
My friends, on the seventh anniversary of my son's death I invite you to say a prayer. A prayer not for his eternal soul but for peace and justice in the world and for all those young people in both nations whose lives have been destroyed by war.
Fernando Suarez del Solar’s son was among the first soldiers to die in the Iraq War. He is the founder of the Guerrero Azteca Peace Project. The organization promotes peace, provides help to military families who have lost a loved one, and provides disadvantaged youths with scholarships and alternatives to military service.
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