Sunday, August 12, 2012

ARLINGTON WEST---A SUNDAY MEMORIAL


  The thousands of weekend tourists who descend on Santa Monica Pier and the surrounding beaches are confronted with a sobering and emotional scene. 
   Every Sunday the organisation Veterans for Peace takes over part of the beach immediately north of the pier to put up a massive graveyard of crosses---one for each of the almost 8,000  troops killed in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. 
  Many of the crosses contain photographs of the dead and personal notes and memorabilia. Called Arlington West, the memorial is in place from sunrise to sunset and its mission, according to Veterans for Peace, is 
  to remember the fallen and wounded to provide a place to grieve to acknowledge the human cost of war to encourage dialogue among people with varied points of view to educate the public about the needs of those returning from war.
  Photographer Theo Kingma captured some poignant moments at the memorial. 

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