Friday, September 09, 2005

In Remembrance of 9-11-01

A group of us from the Lompoc Coalition for Peace and Justice will be going to Santa Barbara this Sunday to visit Arlington West. We were trying to think of a meaningful way to spend the anniversary of 9-11-01 and decided to take a group of high school students down to Santa Barbara to assist in setting up this memorial. With military recruiters on their high school campuses on a regular basis encouraging them to enlist into the armed forces, we thought it was important for them to see what could be the ultimate result of that decision. The only way our children can make a responsible choice is for them to see all sides of the equation. They certainly aren't seeing the whole picture in the mainstream media clearly demonstrated by the fact that our commander and chief has banned all photographs of flag draped coffins returning to the states. I guess out of sight is out of mind.

The Santa Barbara chapter of Veterans for Peace have been constructing this memorial every Sunday since November of 2003 to give their fellow citizens a visual reminder of the human costs of the "War on Terror". I was in Santa Barbara two weeks ago and stopped by Stearns Wharf. I was moved to tears more than once as I walked through the rows of crosses bearing the names of young American men and women who have lost their lives in this conflict. One of the biggest problems I see, and one of the main reasons why more people are not outraged by our current foreign policy, is that this war is not impacting average Americans in any significant way. This memorial reminds us of the real tragedy facing American families and bears witness to the senseless loss of life perpetrated by this administration. For any of you living on the Central Coast who have not yet visited this memorial to our fallen troops, I encourage you to drive down to Santa Barbara this Sunday and bear witness to the truth.

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