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Friday, November 09, 2007

A "Take Back America" Peace Sign - Our Family Project

I've posted the story of our Peace Sign in honor of Veteran's Day, November 11th, 2007, with a special nod to my father-in-law, who retired as a "Mustang" Lt. Commander after a thirty year career in the Navy, and my father, who survived a glider ride into WWII in Europe, fought in the Battle of the Bulge, and suffered the after effects of combat for the rest of his life. Both of our beloved WWII veterans are no longer with us, but I would like to note that both of these honorable men firmly supported the anti-war movement. My father-in-law disdained Bush's illegal invasion of Iraq, and my father, after fighting the Nazis in Europe, would have been sickened by the rise of private armies like Blackwater Worldwide, in his own country. My husband and I are activists because we honor our fathers who continued throughout their lives to "support and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic" by questioning the government and speaking their minds.


Catfish and I started the summer with a very definite project in mind. Although the result looks as if it could be knocked out in a day or two there were many steps involved. Sandwiched in between the weekend Stop Blackwater encampment and rally in Potrero, and the beginning of San Diego's 2007 firestorms on Sunday, October 21st, our new Take Back America, red, white, and blue peace sign was finally completed on Sunday, October 14th

Some of you may recall that last Christmas season (2006) our eldest son, a disabled vet, not only put up our regular holiday lights, but built us a giant colorful, blinking peace sign as well. It was quite a surprise. When the holiday season ended, friends and family asked me if we were going to leave the peace sign up. It was, after all, the only peace sign for miles around. It seemed to me that its bright beautiful message was shinning through the dark night and the darkness that has engulfed our country since the reign of Bush and Cheney began. We decided to keep the peace sign lights burning - until this war is ended and we bring our troops home.

Above is a photo of our original peace sign. We kept it on for many months. It was late spring when we noticed that it was deteriorating. My son had stapled several stands of multi-colored Christmas lights on an old partial sheet of plywood that had been out in the weather and set the lights on a timer. The sheet of plywood was beginning to mildew and fall apart and a strand or two of lights had burned out. There was no way it was going to endure through years of perpetual war in the Middle East as envisioned by Cheney, Bush, and their neoconservative cabal. What to do but make a new one.

Catfish and I talked it over and planned. It was decided that the lights on this peace sign would be red, white, and blue as we are both sick of war loving, profit hungry conservatives waving the colors of democracy while committing war crimes and trashing the Constitution. It was to be a Take Back America Peace Sign. The background would be blue upon which a white peace sign would be painted so that it would stand out during the day.

Our youngest son and a friend with a truck went down to town to buy a sheet of plywood which was then cut in half. My daughter and I went after the primer, the paint, brushes, and a roller tray. The four ft. square of plywood was primed and then painted with three coats o
f outdoor blue enamel. Next, my husband armed with a ruler and a piece of string penciled the peace sign on, masked around it and painted it white. When the paint was dry it was time for lights.

We liberated the chasing lights we had ordered from an online company from their boxes. What an intimidating tangle of lights!

My protest partner, however, was not deterred by the snarled mass of lights. He quickly came up with a system, went to work, and remained at his peace post until the project was completed.

It had taken several months from the time we began planning a new peace sign to its' completion in mid October. We worked on it, as time allowed, at a relaxed and enjoyable pace.

Finally, one week before the firestorms, it was finished, moved into position, wired to the timer, and ready to go! Come on Sunday night....we wanted to see our peace lights!

The lights came on but it was still not dark enough.

It got darker.....

And darker......

Until - Here it is! Red, white, and blue for democracy, for the Constitution, for our America!

You should see it in action. The lights chase around in a circle but at different times. It's beautiful every night!
NOTE: Tomorrow we are going to march in San Diego's Veterans Day parade with Veterans For Peace and will later attend SDVFP's Arlington West in Oceanside. Then we are going to stay at our favorite place at the beach for several days. I will write when we return.

What if they gave a war and nobody came?

This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine....
.............Kitchen Window Woman................

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Blogger Fran said...

I am new to your blog- but I LOVE your beautiful peace sign. A labor of love.
If you visit my blog & scroll down you can see the Iraq Body Count Exhibit, now on display @ the University of Oregon.

10:59 PM  
Blogger Spadoman said...

Awesome. You guys are the best!!

A great Veterans Day to you and all Veterans. Stand today and be proud of who you are. Not all are chosen to be Warriors. Those of us that are, like your Father, are special people. They will be honored tomorrow, and always.

Peace to All.

4:44 AM  
Blogger The Future Was Yesterday said...

I'm sitting here at 3 in the morning, cheering my head off! That is absolutely the greatest!

12:00 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

Inspiring! I might have to make one of my own.

9:06 AM  
Blogger Kitchen Window Woman said...

Fran...Thanks for stopping by. I visited "Ramblings" and looked at the Iraq Body Count Exhibit - WOW - I didn't know that something like that was being done. Finally - an expression of Iraqi losses. Americans really need to understand the Iraqi death rate due to this war and the fact that all of the deaths were unnecessary.

Thanks. The parade went well. Vets For Peace got an amazing amount of support from the crowds on the street. I was surprised. I thought of you and all of our fellow vet bloggers. I thought of my Dad and my father-in-law. I had a lump in my throat for a long time.

The Future Was Yesterday...
I think we heard ya! We're pretty jazzed about it. Every night when we look at it we are inspired again to keep doing what we are doing to stop this war and preserve our democracy.

I hope that you make one. Quite a few people are saying that they want to make one. We need them all over the country! We've got to speak PEACE to POWER.

1:42 PM  
Blogger enigma4ever said...

OH this is soooooo wonderful...you all did a great job....it is beautiful.....thank you for sharing this...I think I need to make one...

11:54 AM  
Blogger moderate said...

you are simply the best, kww...much love to you and yours at this holiday season. pray for peace!

5:19 AM  
Blogger Anon-Paranoid said...

And those figures for the dead are inaccurate as they don't include the suicides.

What we have is to many signs for War and not enough signs for Peace.

Have a great Thanksgiving.

God Bless

9:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great blog - and inspiring story. May that light shine bright for all of us.

8:27 AM  
Blogger LET'S TALK said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

9:59 AM  
Blogger Spadoman said...

Just checking in. Still got that light lit? I'm looking for some battery powered peace sign lights that we can wear as we stand at the Peace vigil in the dark.

Peace to All.

4:36 AM  
Blogger deuddersun said...

Wow! Excellent KWW! Have to get to work on my own, now that I have the time.


8:05 AM  
Blogger bluegrrrrl said...

Hi KWW!! How are you???

I love your peace sign lights! Last year I did something similar in my living room window...a very rudimentary peace sign, but you could kind of tell what it was from the street...Hopefully this year I can make one as nice as yours!

7:09 AM  
Blogger Kitchen Window Woman said...

I'd like to see everyone make peace signs. We have to take this country back before it is too late.

Love to you and yours, too. I haven't been on line except to do holiday shopping and now we are baking for the xmas boxes but it is enjoyable work. Do you have snow yet?

There are way too many signs of war. Peace does not matter in George W. Bush's violent, terrorized country. In Bush country violence equals profit- just look what his "bring it on" has brought us. Death, debt, paranoia, and the destruction of the Constitution.

Our Thanksgiving was real nice - I hope that yours was, too.

Thanks. We will keep the peace sign shining for everyone until we bring our troops home!

Let's Talk...
Happy holidays to you and your family, too!

Yep, we've still got the light lit. I think its a great idea to wear peace sign lights during your vigils. Post a photo when you get them done!

It would be great if you made one - if everyone did we could light our way to taking back America!

I'm fine but in xmas mode so have been doing nothing but holidays for weeks. I had a cold and sinus thing too so haven't been on line except to shop.

We are real happy with our Peace sign. Every night it lights up I get inspired all over again. I guess that is because Peace is Positive! I hope that you do your window again. We need all the Peace signs we can get to take this country back!

3:13 PM  
Blogger Casdok said...

And long may it.

9:17 AM  
Anonymous Rick said...

You can take this away if you have opposing solutions, but I think it's important for people who care about peace and the constitution to be aware of Ron Paul ( http://www.ronpaul2008.com/ ).

Depending on the primary rules in your state, you may need to change your party affiliation to Republican. (Ain't that a kick in the head?)

2:18 PM  
Blogger moderate said...

Merry Christmas, Sis...you've been tagged...http://moderateman.blogspot.com/2007/12/christmas-game-of-tag.html

3:16 AM  
Blogger Anon-Paranoid said...

Hi kww...
Just wanted to wish you a Joyous Holiday Season.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

God Bless.

6:03 PM  
Blogger michael said...

I came across your blog. Our company has just produced a website celebrating the 50th anniversary of the peace symbol in 2008. We've got a gallery of peace symbols and I wondered if you'd like to post these there? The site is at happybirthdaypeace.com
All best

5:14 AM  

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