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Lafayette War Memorial Searches For Its Future
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Jeff Heaton bent low and picked up the weathered white cross that had rotted at its base and tipped over. He cracked off the jagged bottom finish, then carefully pounded the cross back into the dirt with a hammer.
He's completed this uncomplicated ritual, repairing hundreds of crosses, at the Crosses of Lafayette war memorial for years - but that time will soon be over. America is set to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan by the finish of 2014, so by the original intent of the memorial, the four,000-plus cross-bar symbols ought to all come down.
But it is not that easy.
Now there's speak of a permanent memorial on the web-site, in complete every day view of thousands of riders on BART and drivers on Highway 24. A single idea is to replace the fragile wooden crosses with a rotating series of sculptures or cross figures, one more is a monument of some sort, and yet a further involves generating a tiny park.
The proposal for some thing longer lasting is not coming just from the display's organizers and home owners. Even some officials in Lafayette, which was deeply split when the crosses started appearing in 2006, endorse the notion.
The Crosses of Lafayette is believed to be most significant memorial of its kind in the nation for these killed in the two post-9/11 wars. The peace activists who designed and maintained the sprawling hillside memorial overlooking the Lafayette BART station often said it would come down when U.S. soldiers came house from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Numerous of these activists, on the other hand, now say it would be wrong to erase the message that the memorial conveys via its visual dominance and the tributes attached to hundreds of the crosses.
"The complete subject of what to do with the crosses came up at a operate party here a couple of months ago, and one particular of the guys mentioned we must have a bonfire and burn them all up on Dec. 31," Heaton mentioned a single recent afternoon as he fixed broken crosses and pulled up weeds on the hill.
"All the volunteers' jaws dropped. Individuals have been screaming at each and every other. They even started arguing over the environmental effects of the smoke and paint if we burned or moved them."
He chuckled at the memory.
"But we worked it out. We constantly do. We had a lot of discussions, and I believe we're moving in the similar direction now."
Ideas for future
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