On the first day she wrote for 14 hours, starting with the first American death in Iraq on March 21, 2003. After 7 days and 36 hours of writing, artist Nancy Hiss had completed 302 names. And now you can follow the progress of the Iraq Names Project online on a blog that is recording the progress of the project as it weaves its way through Portland.
As she works, people have been stopping to ask questions and talk about the project. Others, including a Girl Scout troop and a group of touring middle school students, have stopped what they were doing to help fill in letters. According to the blog, a young skater named Alex stayed and helped for several hours, eventually recording a movie of names flying by for blocks as he rode past them on his skateboard.
When she started the project in front of the Federal Building downtown, a couple of people came out and told her she couldn't write the names, but after she explained that the purpose of the project was to honor the sacrifice of the soldiers, they left and she continued her work. This week (6/4-8) she'll be working from Monday through Thursday from 7:30 am to 8:30 am and on Friday from 8:30 am till 2 pm. Over the weekend (6/9-10) she'll be out from 10 am to 5 pm. She'll be starting on SW 1st and Ash, continuing east to the sea wall and down to the Japanese American Historical Plaza and across the Steel Bridge to Peace Park. So come down, color in a few letters and reflect on the sacrifice these men and women and their families have made.
All photos from the Iraq Names Project blog.