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Voices of Veterans: A Welcome Home Ceremony

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Voices of Veterans: A Welcome Home Ceremony For veterans from Iraq, Afghanistan, and other wars

Veterans Day in Portland, OR November 11th, 2008 ~ 6 PM

First Unitarian Church 1011 SW 12th Ave Portland, OR Make your reservations for A Welcome Home Ceremony online at www.mosaicvoices.org or contact the Mosaic office at 206-935-3665. Mosaic is pleased to announce: Voices of Veterans - A Welcome Home Ceremony to be held on Veterans Day, November 11th in Portland, Oregon. This unique and healing event involves veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, members of their families, and veterans of other wars. This Veterans Day ceremony brings together veterans of recent wars and the local community. It involves a community conversation that moves beyond politics and goes deeper than the rhetoric of war. Such an event requires care and courage and is too-often avoided. It begins with tragedy and loss- the aftermath of any war- and requires the language of poetry and story, as well as the dignity of ceremony. Healing only happens when the burdens of war can be shared by the greater community. A Welcome Home Ceremony intends to help heal the distance between the warriors and those they protect and bridge the gaps between war and peace, trauma and renewal, pain and understanding. A public gathering allows citizens to be compassionate witnesses to the stories of war and the need for conscious and genuine acts of welcoming. As one veteran writes in a poem: "Can we create a village as strong as a war?" Join author Michael Meade, veterans, and their families for an evening of poetry, stories, and cogent commentary on the realities of being in war and the difficulties found upon return. Participating veterans say: "I didn't know it was possible to find such healing and even include my family." "This experience needs to continue. Our message speaks to the human soul and the time to speak is now." Audience members say: "I am completely awed by the courage of the veterans and their family members for sharing with us their deepest emotions and extraordinary experiences." "From the first moment I was weeping, and didn't stop the whole night… a healing experience for everyone there, including the audience." "What wrenching and beautiful stories, I will never be the same. I am so grateful to have been given a chance to be part of a welcome home for these extraordinary people." "What a great template for healing the wounds of war, something rarely talked about much less acted upon. Bravo!" "The suffering and sacrifice of veterans must be acknowledged at a genuine human level. A genuine rite of return for veterans involves an open and compassionate community that fully acknowledges the courage and the wounds of those who return from battle as well as fully grieves those whose lives ended in the unforgiving fields of war." ~ from Michael Meade's introduction to the new book of poems by veterans and their families: Voices of Vets, A Bridge Back to the World. For further information, reservations, or to order the Voices of Vets poetry book visit Mosaic online at www.mosaicvoices.org. Mosaic Multicultural Foundation 4218 1/2 SW Alaska, Suite H Seattle, WA 98116 (206) 935-3665 (voice) (206) 935-3612 (fax) [email protected] www.mosaicvoices.org