Dave pulled up to our "Eyes Wide Open—Ohio" exhibit at dawn on a Sunday morning. Dave, a Marine veteran of the April 2005 assault on Fallujah, had just finished night shift on his factory job. He walked slowly, looking at the names on the empty combat boots arranged in formation on the courthouse steps of our small town. Visibly upset, his walk is unsteady, like one weak at the knees from unexpected emotion. I go out to greet him.
"What is this about?" He is now collected, a Marine, ready to fight those who do not value his service, do not value the war he gave so much for. My friend Tom has noted that our Eyes Wide Open/Cost of War exhibit has been a safe place to talk about the war. Good; that is why these empty boots and shoes are here, to be seen and felt with open eyes and heart. Many have been angry,