Gold Star Families for Peace Co-Founder to Speak


Celeste Zappala, a co-founder of Gold Star Families for Peace, will speak at Sarah Lawrence College on Thursday, November 10th at 6 p.m. in the College’s Esther Raushenbush Library as part of the Women’s History Lecture Series. Zappala’s lecture, “An Unanticipated Journey,” in which she will discuss the loss of her son, Sgt. Sherwood Baker, to the War in Iraq, is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 914-395-2411.

Gold Star Families for Peace is a national organization of families with loved ones who have died in the Iraq War. As a co-founder of this organization, Zappala, a social worker and director of the Mayor’s Commission on Services to the Aging in Philadelphia, united her family with others to honor the memory of the fallen by “speaking out for truth, peace and accountability in the Iraq conflict.” Zappala’s son was a member of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard who was killed in Baghdad on April 26, 2004.

“Gold Star mothers like Celeste Zappala and Cindy Sheehan remind us that U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are not cartoon superheroes but real-life sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, parents, sweethearts and neighbors,” said Priscilla Murolo, director of the graduate program in Women’s History at Sarah Lawrence. “We owe it to them to discuss and debate the policies that put them in harm's way. Anything less would be a betrayal of our best traditions.”

In the news recently for their support of Cindy Sheehan, whose efforts to ask President Bush the reason why her son died in Iraq have received national attention, Gold Star Families for Peace hope “to provide support and empower those who have been victimized by the invasion of Iraq, raise awareness in the United States about the true human costs of war and reach out to families who have lost a loved one as a result of the war.”