One of the aspects of being the "Peace Mom" and an internationally known figure working for peace that is cool is that I have been able to meet so many of my personal heroes. I have met Senator Ted Kennedy whose family has always tried to serve this country, although they don't have to and their family has paid a high price for this service. As in all large, human families, they have had problems and their share of Black Sheep...but look at the background of the President! Senator Kennedy's office is like an American History museum and my heart aches for his mother, Rose, who buried too many of her children.I have met and become good friends and a close colleague of Daniel Ellsberg, who was making major history when I was a senior in high school and we watched the Watergate hearings in my government class every day.
I have met entertainment giants like Willie Nelson and have become close friends with his family. I have always admired Michael Moore and am stunned sometimes that I have his cell phone number. Jackson Browne has been my not-so-secret crush and I have always resonated with his music (since I was about 10 years old). Now I have had the chance to be onstage and in marches with Jackson and his sweet partner, Diana, who lets me pretend that Jackson is my boyfriend when we are together. (LOL) Not only are the people I have met really talented and brave, but they have been lifelong peace and justice activists. A list of the people I have met and have spent significant time with is too long and I really feel honored!
One person that I have been able to form a relationship with is Yoko Ono Lennon. Since my son was killed, my life has paralleled Yoko's in the way that we are both using our grief to continue the work of our violently murdered loved ones. But, Yoko has such an enormous stature in her work for peace that I am truly starry-eyed when I get emails and gifts from my peace-sister, Yoko.
John Lennon and The Beatles have been in my life since I was six and I watched them for the first time on the Ed Sullivan Show. Paul was my favorite, but John and his music have come to mean so much to me. The Beatles went from singing "Yeah, yeah, yeah," to singing about War Piggies and Revolution.
This picture is hanging on my office wall and it is in a Peace calendar that Yoko sent me for Christmas. I think it is a very sweet picture of John and Yoko. Yoko sent me a message saying, "It is John saying 'hello' to you and everyone else."
So "hello" from Yoko and John Ono Lennon.
In love and hope for a peaceful world,
* * * Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Spc. Casey Austin Sheehan who was KIA in Iraq on 04/04/04. She is a co-founder and President of Gold Star Families for Peace and the author of two books: Not One More Mother's Child and Dear President Bush.