At a memorial ceremony held Monday at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion that marked the third anniversary of the beginning of the war, the names of 5,708 Iraqis and coalition troops who have perished were read out. Among the roughly two dozen participants was Sharon Kunitz, a second-year cantorial student whose 20-year-old son, Brian Parker, is serving as a Marine in Fallujah. Kunitz expressed conflicted feelings on the country’s continued role in Iraq.
“I’ve never supported the war,” the Huntsville, Ala., native said. “But supporting our troops and being in support of the war are two completely different things.”
“I’m incredibly proud of him for his decision to serve his country,” she continued. “I hope he feels he’s doing good work there and that he’s there for a reason.”
“We hope that this day of remembrance will remind both supporters and opponents of the war that the obligation to honor the dead transcends ideology and political affiliation,” Rabbi Shirley Idelson, associate dean of the college, said during the service. “It is a solemn task that falls upon all the living.”