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Distant screams
Photo essay: Santa Monica Pier war memorial

Shirin B
November 17, 2006

Saturday was my daughter's 13th birthday (which is always on Veteran's Day) - She and 10 of her friends were at the Santa Monica Pier doing rides, etc. I noticed on the beach they had an exhibit about the number of dead in Iraq (they always have it on weekends, but Saturday because of Veteran's Day it was a bit more elaborate.)

It was a surreal image - a picture perfect Santa Monica day, with seagulls guarding the beach. A solo saxophone player was playing a sad melody in front of the endless rows of white crosses. A young man went and hugged the saxophone player and started crying. "Who did you lose? Your brother?" Then they both cried. There was an eerie silence against the background of distant screams and laughter from the rides on the pier. The photos of dead soldiers stared at you proudly in their ironed uniforms.

Then my cell phone rang. It was my daughter. Her friends wanted more french fries.

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The Poems of Hafez
202 ghazals in English
Translated by Reza Ordoubadian


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