A message from the 3rd and 4th grade classes at Summers-Knoll School in Michigan: After viewing a photograph of twoRead more
By Brady Ryan, IARP Intern
A group of senior citizens from Burnsville, MN recently wrote group and individual letters to children in Iraq. These senior citizens have begun person-to-person communication between Americans and Iraqis and are seeking peaceful reconciliation.
Letter writers shared memories, beliefs, and hopes. One collective letter recalled memories from participants’ youth, writing, “When we were children, we played hide and seek, teeter-totters, ‘Annie Annie Over,’ hopscotch, and leap frog.” The group also shared the American custom of the birthday, “We usually celebrate with cake and candles. How do you celebrate birthdays?” All writers expressed wishes for peace between and in Iraq and America.
In an age when media coverage of Iraq consists, overwhelmingly, of United States military occupation, it’s subsequent end, and lingering violence, American letter-writers gain a new perspective on Iraq through Letters for Peace. They learn about the lives, beliefs, and hopes of civilians. Similarly, Iraqi letter-writers gain an understanding of civilian life in the United States. All participants gain a more complete understanding of the people of the other country; they learn what they share and where their differences lie. More than anything, letter writers gain an understanding of a shared humanity.
If you are Iraqi and would like to respond to the letters of the Augustana Regent senior citizens, or if you are American and would like to write your own letter, please send your letter to email@example.com or download an information sheet here.