When all eyes turned to New Orleans, I thought, finally, things will change.
On Feb. 1, I was arrested at the State of the Union address for wearing a Veterans for Peace shirt that read: "2,245 Dead. How many more?"
A little more than four months later, we are now tragically marking the deaths of 255 more of our brave and wonderful young American soldiers.
So today, with 2,500 dead, I ask again: How many more?
And with tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians -- maybe even a lot more than 100,000 -- killed, I ask: How many more?
All of their families, American and Iraqi, will never be the same again due to the trickery and deceit of the commander in chief of the U.S. military and his advisers and cabinet members.
And for what?
So Halliburton can get reconstruction contracts and Exxon Mobil can lay its pipelines and charge $3.50 for a gallon of gas?
Over the last year, I've spoken at high schools that have about 2,000 to 2,500 students on campus. I ask them to close their eyes and visualize an empty school.
Only then can they begin to relate to this devastating number.
But for those of us who have lost a son or a daughter or a brother or a sister or a father or a mother in this war, the number one is more than enough.
One empty chair at the table.
One folded flag on the mantel.
One driverless car sitting in the driveway waiting for the finance company to come and pick it up.
One person never coming home.
One broken family that cannot be repaired.
How many more?
How many more of our nation's finest are we willing to kill to enhance the bottom line of the Halliburtons and the Exxon Mobils?
How many more of our young wounded -- 18,000 at this moment -- is it going to take before our country wakes up?
How many more Iraqi babies are we going to allow our leaders to murder before we realize that all babies are precious, loved and mourned when they are killed?
How many more empty speeches and blathering platitudes will we allow our misleaders to utter before they are held accountable?
How many more mothers are we going to watch sobbing over their children's flag-draped coffins before we get out in the streets and demand an end to the immoral and illegal occupation so no other mothers will have to be plunged into a pool of pain?
I had my fill on 04/04/04 when my son Casey was killed in a war that never should have happened.
How many more will it take for you?
Cindy Sheehan is returning to Camp Casey in Crawford, Texas, this summer. She can be reached at email@example.com.