Just Foreign Policy Iraqi Death Estimator    

Monday, November 20, 2006

Iraq war memorial sets tempers ablaze Creators say display is a gesture of respect

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."

"Some are very strongly opposed, others favor it," City Councilman Don Tatzin said Friday. "It has put some people on edge, particularly those who have sons or other loved ones in the military. They view these crosses as a sign of disrespect and not as a sign of respect, and it's also a reminder of what might happen to their loved ones."

After one angry motorist got out of her car and knocked the sign down, city officials told the memorial's builders to remove the sign because it violated local zoning laws. But the group has kept the sign in place -- and on Sunday added 120 crosses.

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.



Post a Comment

<< Home

free hit counter