Thirty-something wife and mother Amy Siebenaler sat childlike and cross-legged on the low cement wall, with her face raised to the sun, while she relaxed with her mother in Washington Square Park. Her wavy black hair cascaded over her shoulders and the light khaki jacket she was wearing, and partially obscured her face and her large round sunglasses. She talked quickly, as if she could not articulate fast enough all of the things she wanted to say about the war.

“I’m very patriotic, and when everything first started I was all for going in there and blasting them. But my husband was in the Air National Guard, and when your husband gets taken away for four months at a time, a year at a time, you start to feel a little differently. Are we accomplishing anything?”

New York University student Paula Kupfer listened intently to Siebenaler’s story. “Do you still support the war?” she asked.

“I did support it for a long time. But now I just don’t know. It’s hard not to support it when people did something like they did on 9/11. I think the purpose is to help the Iraqi people have a more democratic society. But do they even want that? You can’t force an American way of life on others if they don’t want it. I don’t know what I think anymore.” Siebenaler stared into her lap for a moment. “I feel like it’s a good cause and a good idea. I’m just ready to see a whole group of those boys come home and end this war. I don’t think everyone is going to agree in this world, but can we at least try to get along? I mean, I’m not going to tell a Muslim how to pray.”

This story was written March 2006 for the NYU Journalism class “Literature of Journalism.”

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