On Sunday, November 11th, the Justice Commission held its monthly 11th Day Prayer for Peace in partnership witt Veterans for Peace Chapter 27 to honor Veterans Day. The service emphasized the sacrifice and cost of war on military personnel, their families and their communities, as well as the continuing need for peace and end to war.
With the holiday this week, I have been thinking a lot about how the United States takes care of our veterans, or in many cases, does not take care of them. These issues took on a new dimension for me when I attended the Advocates for Human Rights‘ and the Friends of the Saint Paul Library’s showing of “The Invisible War” at Metropolitan State University on Tuesday night. The film profiled women and men who had been victims of sexual violence while serving in the military, and the shocking lack of care and justice these victims received when their incidents were reported. Leaving the movie, I found myself outraged and overwhelmed by the scope of the issue. In addition, I also found hope in the bravery exemplified by the individuals interviewed in the film, who refused to be silent about what is happening. These voices make me believe in the possibility of change. When people speak up and bring their stories and truths forward, things can truly begin to move.
Reflecting on this film, I have been considering what role I can play in continuing the discussion on these issues and advocating for changes to the system. Fortunately, the documentary’s site include ideas for what that involvement can look like. I will be consulting this resource to think about what I can do. I encourage you to consider this link as well:
-Mary Pederson, Program Assistant, Justice Office