"Yes, that was an indication of my belief we're going to win."
-George W. Bush, December 20th, 2006, White House Press Conference.
Earlier this month, I took a short car ride to the East Bay town of Lafayette, to see for myself, the memorial that has been placed on the side of a hill, honoring U.S. military troops killed in Iraq. You can read my original entry here. This particular memorial has been the subject of a great deal of debate, both pro and con, but I wanted to see it for myself, before deciding how I felt about this expression of remembrance for the fallen. I did see it in person, and I left feeling a good deal of sadness, mostly because the crosses themselves represent sons, fathers, wives, husbands, daughters, sisters, brothers, best friends, mothers, and almost any combination of relationships you care to think of. I took that photo on December 2, which at that time, there were 2,885 lost forever to this war, created through lies, and fought with the blood of our nations soldiers, to the ends of some unknown agenda. As of today, the total climbed to 3,284, but the point I want to make here has to do with what we hold as truth, as Americans and humans.
The owners of this property in Lafayette placed this memorial here, on their own private property, to honor those who have died for our freedoms. Freedom of speech being one of many. The owners of the property have the right to display this memorial, and yet, they have been the subject of a great deal or community ire from the mostly conservative town, in which are some who consider the crosses not as representational of the fallen, but more as an affront to their memory. How can this be true? Help me with this one here. Are we not supposed to acknowledge to ourselves, and others, that those horrible numbers are people, not just numbers? Does it make the war somehow more palatable, if we can possibly find a way to march on to "victory," without feeling the pain of loss? Who is honoring who? I hear all the time, mostly from war supporters, that those very same sons, fathers, wives, husbands, daughters, sisters, brothers, best friends, mothers and any combination of relationships you care to think of, are in Iraq, to defend our freedoms. Is freedom of speech, one of our freedoms or isn't it? You can't have it both ways. I am offended that someone vandalized this memorial, sometime in the last couple days. Deeply offended.
To vandalize someone else's property, because you don't like their specific message, makes you a coward. A COWARD! And you do more to bring down the morale our troops, then any other slight that could be shown them. If you are for the war in Iraq, because you have weighed the situation, did your research, and came to that conclusion, I can respect that. If you are against the war, for the same reasons, again I have respect for you, but if you don't know why you feel the way you do, either way, then do something right now to educate yourself, and find out what you feel, and why you feel it. If you can't make that effort, then I don't think I even want to know you! Vandalizing this property is an act of cowardice, it isn't a statement that can be respected, and right now, if you are the one who did this deed, you are a criminal. Nice... real nice.
December 2, 2006