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Campus group enlightens students about consequences of war

Many students on the Ball State University campus Monday and Tuesday were intrigued by the sight of 155 pairs of black military boots scattered on the lawn beside the Shafer Tower.

The goal of the display, ‘Eyes Wide Open,’ was to raise awareness about the repercussions of war. Each pair of shoes represented a soldier from Indiana who has died in the war in the Middle East.

In addition to the black boots, one pair of white boots were displayed to represent the Iraqi and Afghani soldiers who have committed suicide.

Ball State University’s Truth Movement organized the event for the second time in a year.

The Truth Movement is a group that works to raise awareness about social issues that they think have been downplayed by the media and government. There are about 25 active members at Ball State.

Truth Movement president John Michael Boger said the group decided to bring the display back to Ball State during the first week of classes to spread their message to students new to campus.

‘Our main goal was to raise awareness to the cost of war,’ he said. ‘We just had a lot of good feedback from last semester.’

The first location of the exhibit at Ball State was inside the David Letterman Media and Communications Building because of bad weather. Boger said he thought having it outside helped to increase its visibility and impact.

‘It hits home a lot more than seeing it on the news,’ he said.

After ‘Eyes Wide Open’ was displayed last winter, Boger said, students from North Carolina and Texas schools contacted them about getting the exhibit to their schools.

The traveling exhibit is sponsored by the Quaker group American Friends Service Committee. Since the display began in 2004 in Chicago, it has traveled to 17 states, according to the American Friends Service Committee Web site.

Junior Erik Waywood said he was glad to see students bring attention to the sacrifices made by American soldiers.

‘I think it’s too many shoes,’ he said. ‘I wish there were less boots.’

Editor’s note: Sysilie Hill contributed to this story

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