Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Lafayette Memorial: Honor the Warriors, Not the War

Chronicle / Paul Chin

Yesterday's Chronicle featured this story about the Memorial to our dead heros in Iraq:
San Francisco Chronicle
Iraq war memorial sets tempers ablaze
Creators say display is a gesture of respect

Jason B. Johnson, Chronicle Staff Writer

Monday, November 20, 2006

San Francisco and Berkeley voters may oppose the Iraq war, but the oak-studded hillside suburb of Lafayette has taken center stage among Bay Area war protests thanks to an emotional debate over a highly visible memorial to U.S. soldiers killed in the conflict.

Lafayette is known more for pricey homes and good schools than left-leaning politics, but its civic temperature suddenly rose several degrees after 300 crosses were erected a week ago on a privately owned hillside near the Lafayette BART Station. The crosses are accompanied by a large sign reading, "In Memory of 2,839 U.S. Troops Killed In Iraq."
The article quotes Jeff Heaton:
"What we're trying to do is remind people there are lives being lost, families being devastated," Heaton said, referring to the Bush administration's restrictions on images of dead U.S. soldiers and their coffins. "Because it's against the president's edict to show a funeral on television and show bodies coming off an airplane."

Heaton acknowledged that everyone who planted the simple white crosses -- along with a handful of Islamic crescents and Jewish Stars of David -- opposes the war. But he said it's primarily a solemn salute to U.S. servicemen and women.

He noted that the memorial contains no verbal or visual attack on the Bush administration, and he said he hopes passers-by see it as honoring those who have died, regardless of their view on the war.
It remains a reminder that the failed policy in Iraq is still killing American soldiers without making Americans safer, to say nothing of the safety of people of Iraq.

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