August 25, 2005
CINDY SHEEHAN: Hi. Isnít she amazing? (applause) Do you guys mind if I sit down too? This has been a pretty amazing day. Oops, did I do that. Oh, okay. I was watching Jon Stewart the other night. I havenít watched TV for a long time and he had Chris Wallace on from Fox News, I think, and they were talking about whatís happening out here and they were talking about well Cindyís gone, her mom had a stroke, and then they said that Joan Baez gave a concert last night and Jon Stewart said, "Well apparently they are trying to stop Vietnam." You know and that kind of offended me because maybe if we had really stopped Vietnam, Iraq wouldnít have happened (applause). You know we, I think it was such a long struggle that after Vietnam, Iím not going to take any credit or blame for this because I was really young, it was just like well we got our troops out now we donít have to make sure they never do this to our kids again. And I am going to make sure that after our troops are brought home from Iraq, and they will be brought back, that weíre going to keep the Camp Casey movement going and weíre gonna make sure that our kids are never sent to fight a war for power and greed. (applause)
Iím thinking, Iím thinking probably, probably the country is kind of going to take me at my word from now on. They are going to know that Iím not going to give up and today was really hard when I came in and saw Casey bigger than life over there. I miss him so much and I miss him more every day, but like that song "Joe Hill," Caseyís not dead. I see him in all of your eyes and Casey will never die. And they can kill the body, but they canít kill the love and the spirit, and no matter how hard they try they canít do that.
I want to tell you a little bit about Casey because this whole movement is because of him and because of the others that have sacrificed themselves. The hardest thing for me to hear, I donít care about them talking about me being a crackpot or a media whore, or a tool of the left, you know. Iím like if I truly was a media whore do you think I would like maybe get myself fixed up a little bit before I went on? That doesnít bother me at all, but what bothers me so much is when they say I am dishonoring my sonís memory by what Iím doing, that my son would be ashamed of me or what they really like to say is that Iím pissing, or shitting, or spitting on his grave. And look what Casey, look what Casey has started. You know, Iím here because of Casey, weíre all here because of Casey and you know literally there is, there is over 2000 of our brave young people and tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis and I know they are behind us, and I see them, all their faces on your faces.
But Casey was such a gentle kind loving person. He never even got in one fist fight his whole life. Nobody even hated him enough to punch him let alone kill him, and thatís what George Bush did. He put our kids in another personís country and Casey was killed by insurgents. He wasnít killed by terrorists. He was killed by Shiite militia who wanted him out of the country, when Casey was told he was going to be welcomed with chocolate and flowers as a liberator. Well, the people of Iraq saw it differently. They saw him as an occupier.
Casey, I want you guys to know about him. You guys know he was an altar boy for 10 years. You guys know he was an eagle scout. You guys know he was an honor student. You guys know he was a very brave person who was scared out of his mind on April 4th, but he went anyway because he said, "Where my chief goes, I go." But you donít know the little boy. He used to come up behind me. He used to wrap his arms around my legs. Heíd kiss me on the butt and heíd say, "I wuv you mama." And if he wasnít doing that, heíd walk by and heíd go "dinus ha mama" and that meant, "What are you doing mama?" Every night weíd put him to bed. Every night he would say, "Thank you Mom. This was the best day of my life."
There are a couple of funny stories. Once when he wasnít even 2 it was Easter Sunday and we were all at mass and we were all jammed into one pew, you know there was a bunch of us and the church was full, and we were standing up and we sang the "Lamb of God." We were Catholic and we went to kneel down, and as soon as we knelt down Casey stood up on one of the kneelers and at the top of his voice he goes, "Iím Popeye the sailor man," and everybody in the whole church was cracking up, and so from then on people at our church called him "Popeye." Theyíd go, "Hey there goes Popeye."
And another cute story was when he was in kindergarten he went to the Catholic school where we went to church and he went to afternoon so we couldnít pull in the parking lot, so weíd have to drive around looking for a place to park. So we were driving around one time and he goes, "Oh mama thereís a place," and I said "Oh honey we canít park there itís handicapped," and he goes "Oh, weíre not handicapped weíre Catholic."
And then, he thought there were only two religions in the world and you guys might know for those of you who grew up Catholic, itís Catholic and public. They thought that those were the two religions. When Caseyóin his rebellious yearsówhen we told him something he didnít agree with or whatever, this was the extent of his talking back to us, "thssst." You know seriously this kid was just, just an amazing person and we were so shocked when he joined the Army.
I mean, that would have been the last thing we would have expected from Casey, but also the first thing because he always wanted to help. He always wanted to serve. He thought he was giving something back to his country and community, also having been lied to by his recruiter. So, then for my boy to be killed in a war -- I donít know if you moms did the same thing, but when I would nurse him I would promise him I would never let him go to war, you know, and I broke that promise to him.
So this is the boy who they say Iím dishonoring by what I do and I know when I get up with Casey, like he went there first before me. When I get up, heís gonna say, "Good job Mom." (applause) Heís not going to say, heís not going to say, "Whyíd you make me spin in my grave," you know. And I can just hear him saying "George Bush you are really an idiot. You didnít know what you were doing when you killed me. You didnít know what you were getting into." And Iím sure Caseyís up there with Ken and all the others and theyíre just going, "Wow, did these guys have moms? They didnít know that this was going to happen when they killed us?"
You know, so Casey, he wanted to get married, everybody thought he would be a priest, but he told me "Mom I want to have a family. I want to get married," and he wanted to be a deacon in the Catholic Church which you can be and be a married person too, and he was told he could be a chaplainís assistant in the army and when he got there they said, you know, "Well, psych is full; you have to be a cook or a humvee mechanic," so he became a humvee mechanic.
He wanted to be an elementary school teacher. He loves kids. He loved animals. He was a very good big brother to Andy, Karly and Janey. And his murder has left a hole in our hearts and in our family, and itís never going to be replaced. No matter how many wonderful people I meet, how many boys that call me "mom," theyíre not Casey.
He used to call me every day from Ft. Hood. I miss that. And Karen knows like probably for almost a year after he was killed every time the phone rang Iíd think, "Oh thatís Casey." And so it just like hits you about 50 times a day that youíre never going to talk to them, or see them again. And thatís why I do what I do, because I canít bear the thought of another mother having to go through the pain that Iím going through. And thatís the only reason I do it. So thatís what weíre here for. Weíre here because we want to make it so our kids, their deaths stand for peace and love, and this is what is at Camp Casey. And you know some people are saying, "Oh what are guys trying to do, recreate the sixties?" Oh yeah, peace and love is a really bad thing. You know itís been something thatís been missing in our country for decades and Iím not ashamed, you know, Iím not ashamed to say that this is a place where you can come and feel loved. You know this is the place where the end of the occupation of Iraq started. This is the place where America comes to say, "Weíve had enough Ė enough. You might be able to lie to Congress. You might be able to lie to the media, but youíre not lying to us anymore." And this is it, this is where itís going to begin and weíre not going stop today, weíre not going to stop on the 31st. Weíre not going stop ever, ever. We will make sure that this keeps on going. We wonít have a war, another war, in 30 or 40 years, where weíll be saying, "Oh this is another Iraq." You know, no, itís not going to ever happen again. Itís not going to just be me. Itís going to be me with the millions of people who are behind us, making sure that that will happen. And you know when this is going to stop? This is going to stop when the mothers say, "No, Iím not giving my son, Iím not giving my son to you so you can kill him to line your pockets," and thatís when itís going to stop.
I felt this a lot of times before when Casey was born. I looked in his eyes and it looked like he could tell what I was thinking. Thatís very disarming when you have like a week old baby looking at you and you know he knows what youíre thinking. And I knew he was going to be a great man. I just had no idea how great he was going to be or how much it was going to hurt me. So, thank you Casey and thank you Ken and thank you all the others, and I know that they are in heaven and I know that thatís why this movement is growing because we have tens of thousands of angels behind us that are supporting us, that are saying, "Well you know we died and that was really crappy, but we hope that our deaths are going to make the world a better place," and itís up to us to make sure that it does. Thank you.
The following is the exclusive transcript of Cindy Sheehan's 16-minute speech to supporters Wednesday night, taken by RAW STORY via The Brad Show on Raw Radio. Hear the audio here.