Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Magic Mirror In Happy Valley

Photo from Indy Bay

The Contra Costa Times reports today about opposing reactions to the memorial of white crosses in remembrance of American soldiers killed in Iraq which is being erected in Lafayette.
Iraq war-dead memorial criticized
LAFAYETTE: The council will discuss the display in terms of the city's sign ordinance at its Nov. 27 meeting
By Rebecca Rosen Lum


Jean Bonodio was driving along Deer Hill Road when she saw it -- nearly 300 white crosses flanking a sign that detailed the Iraq war costs -- human and monetary.

Bonodio, who identified herself as a Marine Corps sergeant, left her dogs in her minivan, strode up the hill, and kicked the wood sign until it felt in pieces to the ground.

It was only the second day of life for the memorial created by Lafayette contractor Jeffrey Heaton, and it had endured a spate of attacks.

Reaction to the exhibit on private property across from the Lafayette BART station has been mixed since it appeared Monday morning.

Bonodio told a Times photographer that she objected to the memorial sign's anti-war message.

In e-mails to the Times, critics questioned why Heaton did not include victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. Some took their complaints to Monday night's City Council meeting.

Take a look at the entire article. What I notice is that each person sees or feels something quite different. For instance, Jean Bonodio sees a sign that reads "IN MEMORY OF 2839 U.S. TROOPS KILLED IN IRAQ" and sees "an anti-war message." Others read the same sign and feel that it is a reminder of the high cost of the war. One person wonders why there is no tribute to those killed on 9/11 while others feel there should be a tribute to the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed. Some feel anger and some great sadness. Some want to be reminded and some can't stand to be reminded.

This memorial in Lafayette is just down the street from a road called Happy Valley but in Iraq today there is no happiness.

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