Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Memorial Day 2008

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Memorial Day 2008 at The Crosses of Lafayette. The sign reads 4084 - the number of U.S. Troops killed in Iraq up to that date.

Tony Thurmond

Tony Thurmond is running for California State Assembly. He is endorsed by George Miller and by the Contra Costa Times. Tony spoke at the Memorial Day vigil at the Lafayette Crosses.



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Blogger Jeff Heaton said...

I believe the Crosses of Lafayette Iraq War Peace Memorial needs to reflect and memorialize the soldiers who have died in Afghanistan, as well as in Iraq.
This change would bring up a number of important issues that need to be studied.
Initially a lot of the people who supported the war in Afghanistan were either opposed to the war in Iraq, or came to oppose the war in Iraq once it became the clear that the US public was lied to about the reasons for going to war.
Many of those people may still believe that the initial invasion of Afghanistan and the ongoing endless occupation of Afghanistan are justifiable.
I believe the public was also lied to about the reasons for going to war in Afghanistan. I think that changing the memorial to reflect the fallen soldiers in Afghanistan will bring this controversy to light. If we do not learn from the mistakes of the past, then we are destined to repeat them.
It is clear that Afghanistan was always considered a stepping stone to the invasion of Iraq and then Iran.
Our entire Middle East foreign policy has been a disaster in the making for many decades. I grew up next door to a family whose father was in the CIA. They spent half of their time living in Afghanistan with the mission of destroying the ability of the people of Afghanistan to govern themselves. To continue the occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan even in lesser numbers is a continuation of the same disastrous policies.
It has become clear that Barack Obama intends to draw down the troops in Iraq and at the same time, send more troops to Afghanistan as well as support the illegal actions of the Israeli Military against the Palestinians. I believe he is being persuaded by the military industrial complex that violently meddling in the affairs of foreign countries is still a necessary foreign policy.
The strength of Obama’s candidacy is his appeal to all of us to get involved. Electing Barack to office will not bring about a real change unless all of us continue to push for peace and stability more than ever.
Unfortunately that will probably not happen until the economy is so bad that many people will finally realize that the war on terror is just another chapter in the ongoing war on the middle class. With out a middle class, there is no democracy. Jeff Heaton

Blogger rick said...

I agree the Crosses of Lafayette should include the fallen soldiers who died in Afghanistan. The "war on terror" is a fraud. It is actually a war of terror. Remember "shock and awe"?

The US will eventually be forced to leave Afghanistan just as the British and Russians were. The only question is how many needless American, Canadian and Afghani deaths will occur before that happens. We need a real change in US foreign policy.

- Rick Sterling

Anonymous Michael E. Kerr said...

Well said Jeff! I support the inclusion of the Afghanistan US Troop fatal casualties. How about two numbers on the sign? That will create more attention rather than adding the numbers of fatalities into one number. We may need 3 numbers when our government attacks Iran or maybe somewhere else!

Blogger Molly said...

members of the crosses group are invited Friday, August 15, 5-10 pm, to Erik's home for a memorial open house. the group leader knows the address.Please ask him for it.
the hansons

Blogger Jeff Heaton said...

what a timely subject. I believe that the Memorial should be for the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. I understand that the logistics of doing so could be huge. I believe that the number should be changed to include Afghanistan. Then, perhaps, the practical thing to do would be to continue adding crosses at the existing rate and not try to be so precise as to have a cross for every fallen serviceperson. I believe that the impact from the Memorial is from the sheer number of crosses on that plot of ground and not the fact that the number of crosses is precise.

Thanks for asking.

Mike King

Blogger Jeff Heaton said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Jeff Heaton said...

Hi Jeff,

Hope everything is well on your end. I just wanted to send you some information about the film. As you already know, this past weekend the documentary premiered at the Wine Country Film Festival in California.
And now we have decided to put the entire film up on YouTube for all to see for free! We are doing this so that people can see the film before the election.

I would love for you to take a look, and if you can, could you forward this information to the volunteers? They may want to see it!

You can see the entire film here:


PLEASE spread the word!

I hope you are well!


Arturo Perez Jr.

Blogger GSMSO said...

If this hillside is a memorial to the current US war dead, then how can we say that the lives of the US dead in Iraq are more worthy of remembering than those whose lives were lost in Afghanistan?

Is Iraq the "bad" war and Afghanistan a "good" one as some suggest? Regardless of your response to that question, our young men & women, who stepped forward to serve our country in the military are dying in our name and we must remember them all.

Please include all of names from both theaters of operation.

Proud Gold Star Mom of Lt Ken Ballard- KIA 5.30.2004, Najaf, Iraq

Blogger Jeff Heaton said...

Gregg Payton said:
I believe that a cross should be added for those fallen soldiers also. But I think maybe you should have them a different color, maybe red. Or even white with something on them to distinguish where they died. But yes, these soldiers deserve to be honored.

Blogger Jeff Heaton said...

Since many of the existing wooden crosses are being eaten by termites,
> probably we will have to continue putting up metal crosses, additional
> crosses where possible, and remain active on the hillside. I don't
> mind.
> This is important to me.
> Personally, I don't see much difference in the Afghanistan war, I
> don't believe we should be there either. The reasons the US is still
> there are probably more connected to oil and natural gas power issues
> than aiding the people of Afghanistan. The loss of American lives in
> Afghanistan is little different from the loss of American lives in
> Iraq, so perhaps we can combine these issues and the hillside can
> reflect this in some way.
> The general public may see these two wars differently, I don't know.
> I think Barbara lee was the only congressman to vote against invading
> Afghanistan, but that was years ago, when America was in hot pursuit
> of Bin Laden. The crosses represent American lives lost. If America
> does withdraw from Iraq, but not Afghanistan, would we want to restore
> the hillside and say "mission accomplished"? Probably not.
> Personally, I come out to work on the hillside because I am opposed to
> war in general. I can't imagine a "good war" worthy of support.
> john jensen

Blogger Jeff Heaton said...

It will draw more media attention to the expansion of our wars.
A war is against a country.
It was individual criminals from Saudi Arabia who masterminded the
9/11 massacres, not the citizens of Afghanistan.
We have no right to wage a war there - even if it is against the Taliban (who also had nothing to do with 9/11).

Louise Clark

Blogger Jeff Heaton said...

Cross controversy
Letter to the Editor
Article Launched: 08/21/2008 12:04:22 AM PDT

Here we go again! The Mt. Diablo Peace Center has only now decided to include Afghanistan in the Lafayette crosses billboard death total, because Afghanistan was the "good" or easily justifiable war, whereas, Iraq was more controversial.

The "bad" Iraq war was much easier to justify a large cross display and anti-war billboard, that is, until Iraq casualties dwindled.

Regardless, no memorial should be so political in nature that it offends a large number of those it is meant to honor.

Either the crosses are a real memorial, or a political statement and mock memorial, but not both. The fact that this same peace group right after 9/11/01 decided to fly the flags of other nations (including Libya and Cuba) along with the U.N. flag, but wouldn't fly the American flag, calls into question their current motives.

This same group now trots out Old Glory when it serves its purpose-to gain support for the cross "memorial."

Don't forget that they couldn't help themselves by belittling those groups who flew flags after 9/11 by calling them "jingoistic, militaristic, warmongers," on their Web site. Doesn't the current cross flag displays seem a bit hypocritical? Beware of fair weather flag flyers!

James Minder



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