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Monday, April 23, 2007

Arlington West



We spent Sunday in the park with Veterans for Peace, my husband and I, tending a field of the fallen. Row after row of crosses accompanied by small American flags were planted on the green. Each bore the name of a soldier who had perished in this most recent American war.

Arlington West takes several hours to set up. The work requires patience, dedication, and the ability to bend. VFP members and community volunteers team together to complete the symbolic memorial. The experience is a spiritual and profound one.




The Arlington West at Balboa Park, in San Diego, on Sunday, April 22, 2007 was the first my husband and I attended and assisted with. I had been intending to join VFP for quite a while but was delayed by a missing DD214. Finally, my husband located the military document (thank you) which I then submitted along with an application, for membership. My card from the Veterans for Peace national office had arrived earlier in the week - just in time.



Veterans For Peace is "a nationwide network of veterans working to end war as an instrument of aggression and heal the wounds that wars have caused". There are "144 chapters in 44 of the 50 states". VFP members are also up on the issues that effect veterans in civilian life like medical care, benefits, and PTSD. They are dedicated to the protection of civil liberties and veteran's rights and have provided humanitarian aid to Katrina survivors and Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange.

Veteran bloggers! Want to become more active? Check out Veterans For Peace.
If you are in the San Diego area click here to check out VFP's Hugh Thompson Memorial Chapter # 91. Friends, family, and general supporters can also join as Associate Members.

Experience an Arlington West by viewing the film available for purchase here. The film, Arlington West, is a poetic and touching work of art. Watch and listen as Americans of all types and ages express a range of opinions, thoughts, and feelings while visiting an Arlington West Tribute to those who have lost their lives in Operation: Iraqi Freedom.



I had an arm load of crosses and was walking toward the row in which they would be placed. As I took one off the top of the pile, my eyes fixed on the age of the young soldier whose name it bore. Twenty-three - he was only 23 - the age of my youngest son. My heart broke for him and his family.

I also saw many of the fallen who were in their late 30's like my eldest son, who after fourteen years of service, is a disabled vet. He and a friend of the family came to pay their respects to lost comrades. They then returned, Sunday afternoon, to help take down the thousands of crosses and flags, until the next time.



The photo on the right is of my husband. We enjoyed working with the members of San Diego's Hugh Thompson Memorial Chapter of VFP. They are some fine people. I'm a little sore today as I no longer bend like Gumby, but I figure every ache was worth it if gets us closer to stopping this war and preventing new ones.


The Peace Sign in front of our house still shines through the dark every night and will continue to shine until we stop this war and bring all of the troops home.

........WAGE PEACE.........

~
Kitchen Window Woman ~
Resident Scholar, American Patriot Institute

4 Comments:

Blogger FunkyTown Fighter said...

Excellent post! That's what I call "supporting our Troops", Not this Walter Reed crap Shrub and Co. have given them. Good job!

7:00 AM  
Blogger Kitchen Window Woman said...

Supporting our troops certainly doesn't involve a surge that is really an escalation. There are already many to morn and each one was special.

7:27 PM  
Blogger Jane said...

Just in case folks don't know, anyone can join VFP without having served in the military. Simply join as an "associate member" if you have someone in your family, or a close friend who served. thank you for your insightful thoughts.

12:56 PM  
Blogger Kitchen Window Woman said...

Jane...
I hope that many more people join VFP both associates and vets. There is a lot of work to do. Bush has made one helluva mess!

11:04 AM  

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