Casey Austin Sheehan: May 29, 1979 to April 04, 2004 by Cindy Sheehan

I am already crying.

My oldest child, Casey, would have turned 34 years old today if he hadn't been murdered in one of the US Empire's string of needless wars for profit and Imperial hegemony.

Birthdays are more difficult to endure than deathdays. Deathdays are supposed to be sad, but birthdays should be a day of celebration and joy.

Casey was born at 1:01 in the morning after a long day of labor at Kaiser Hospital in Bellflower, Ca. When he was little, we still lived near Kaiser and whenever we passed it, he would mix "General Hospital" and "The Dukes of Hazard" and say, "There's the General Lee hospital where I was born." Casey was filled with life and wonder as are most toddlers. Every night when we would tuck him in and kiss him good night, he would say, "this was the best day of my life."

After he was murdered, my life was shattered and my heart was demolished and after nine years, the tears are still spilling over and never far from the surface. However, the only way to go is forward and Casey lives in all of us.

I read somewhere that gravestones give the vital statistics of birth and death, but the "dash" between those dates really tells the story. Casey's "dash" was short, but he was a boy, then man, who had strong principles that he never wavered from. He didn't want to go to Iraq, but he went and was killed a few days after he got there after refusing the order that led to his death. Casey was forced to go on the mission that killed him and I was never comforted by all the "hero" talk until I learned of the true hero he really was. Casey could never kill anyone and I know if he had survived his initial deployment, he never would have been the same.

In honor of my brave son, I am determined to infuse my "dash" with the struggle for peace and a nation where peace reigns and things like education and healthcare are human rights, not privileges for the oligarchy--so our children don't have to fight, kill, and die (or go into onerous debt) to receive the human right of a decent education.

I hope I can live up to the life of my son. 


  1. I wish I had words for it. You wrote it with a heartbreaking dignity and I can only tell how sad it makes feel to read you. The death of Franca Rame lead me to your story and to Casey's. Dear Cindy, I'm too short for words. I share your story because I believe everyone should read you.

  2. Reading your blog for the first time. As another mother who yearns for peace, it makes me sad to read your son's story. I have 3 grown sons who thankfully never were called into military service. When that seemed possible, I really had planned to leave the country and head for Canada with them. It must be hard to raise children, teaching them to value life, and then see that idea destroyed ny military brainwashing. I can only tell you that I am so sorry for your loss and I believe that you are honoring your son with your words and actions. May you have safe travels on the rest of your bike tour.


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