Thank you, Cindy, for Hope

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“Cindy Sheehan is My President” reads the bumper sticker beside my computer. I read it everyday and I smile. Cindy never ran for president, but she presides over the peace movement that was birthed at Camp Casey, no matter if she holds an office, stands at a podium, or leads a march. She rose to leadership and it will always be hers. A leader like Cindy cannot resign; she can only be at rest. She can be silent; but her voice will always be heard. Thank you Cindy.

Cindy rose to leadership before she knew she was going to be such a leader. Here in Austin in August of ’05, I saw her on the TV news and read about her in emails, and then I went the hundred miles to Crawford, the first of many trips, to Camp Casey to “Stand with Cindy,” not fully realizing for a long time how it changed my life. There I was transformed from a citizen saddened at what had happened to our nation and about the war being fought in our name — into a person with hope. Hope! And under Cindy’s leadership, by the hundreds of thousands, here and abroad, we felt Hope be reborn. The hope that went out from Camp Casey was unstoppable; like sunshine it just went, as a gift, offered by Cindy’s inspiring leadership.

In spite of the political setback of last week, I have hope, because nobody can ever take away what the movement sparked. That light is what takes us through the dark days, and that we have each other in the Camp Casey Movement is a blessing. Casey’s name will always be honored.

Thank you Dede for being a true and totally amazing sister. You wept and gave and worked and shared and still had more where that came from. Thank you Carly, Andy and Janey, who your Mom always talked about, for your inspiration to her.

And Cindy and Dede, mother and auntie to Casey, wherever Camp Casey gathers, and gather we will, your places will always be set at the table.

Patrice Schexnayder
Austin, Texas


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