Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Day is done, gone the sun,
From the hills, from the lake,
From the sky.
All is well, safely rest,
God is nigh.

Go to sleep, peaceful sleep,
May the soldier or sailor,
God keep.
On the land or the deep,
Safe in sleep.

Love, good night, Must thou go,
When the day, And the night
Need thee so?
All is well. Speedeth all
To their rest.

Fades the light; And afar
Goeth day, And the stars
Shineth bright,
Fare thee well; Day has gone,
Night is on.

Thanks and praise, For our days,
'Neath the sun, Neath the stars,
'Neath the sky,
As we go, This we know,
God is nigh.

WIKIPEDIA -Arlington West refers to the "temporary cemetery" itself, as well as Veterans for Peace's project of installing the temporary memorial. The name comes from the name of the national cemetery of the United States, Arlington National Cemetery, a burial place of honor for fallen war heroes. Arlington National Cemetery is the location of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and is also the final resting place for John F. Kennedy. Arlington West -- in a manner similar to "real" cemeteries -- is intended by the project organizers to be a place to mourn, reflect, contemplate, grieve, and meditate, to honor and acknowledge those who have lost their lives, and to reflect upon the costs of war.
The memorial in Santa Barbara, California, which was first put together on November 2, 2003, is installed each Sunday by a team of volunteers on the beach immediately west of Stearns Wharf. Visitors walking to the tourist attractions on the wharf have a clear view, from the boardwalk, along the beach with the white crosses in the foreground. From the walkway, visitors can see a flag-draped coffin and more than 2000 crosses, made of wood, which are intended to resemble and represent traditional military grave markers. In addition to the simulated graveyard, a placard listing all the fallen American military personnel since the U.S. invaded and occupied Iraq is prominently displayed; this list is updated weekly. Adjacent to the placards is a sign containing the message: "If we were to put up a cross for each Iraqi person killed, the numbers of crosses would fill the entire beach."
Although there is no way of knowing the various faiths or philosophies of the many people who died, the cross (a common symbol of Christianity) was selected to used as a marker.

The original Arlington West memorial, Santa Barbara, California; the USS Ronald Reagan is in the background
The second Arlington West was installed in Santa Monica, California on February 15, 2004, a Sunday. It was built on the sand just north of the pier at Santa Monica Beach, "as a way to acknowledge the costs and consequences of the addiction to war as an instrument of international policy" (quote from Veterans for Peace). Like the initial memorial in Santa Barbara, it has been reinstalled each Sunday since its inception.
Similar memorials have also been installed on other beaches on the West Coast of the U.S..
On December 14, 2003 Arlington West Santa Barbara was illuminated by 455 candles in red cups for the city's annual Parade of Lights. The cups glowed a blood red while the light projected upward from the cups caused the white crosses to glow in a flickering, living light. Photojournalists on hand commented that the sight of the illuminated memorial "upstaged the Parade of Lights" (boats in the harbor decked out in Christmas lights). The display drew thousands of spectators during the two hours the candles burned.
Veterans For Peace, an official non-governmental organization (NGO) founded in 1985 includes men and women veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, and other conflicts, as well as peacetime veterans. The group has published a 'how-to' for organising, planning and constructing and erecting Arlington West. Several other Memorials have been erected by chapters of Veterans for Peace and other groups.

In the spring and summer of 2005, a similar Arlington West display was taken on a U.S. tour, being installed at places such as Ohio's Kent State University (for the 35th commemoration of the tragedy of May 4, 1970), as well as at "Camp Casey," the site of anti-war protestor Cindy Sheehan's vigil outside the ranch of President George W. Bush near Crawford, Texas.


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