08 September 2009

Lafayette Hillside Memorial

Viewable from the Lafayette Bart station in Lafayette, CA is a monument of sorts which is home to over 5000 wooden crosses to date. I drive by this place at least once or twice a week and always say "One day I'm going to stop and take a picture of that." Well it turns out that today was my day so I'd like to share it with you. This is a memorial was started in November of 2006 by a gentleman by the name of Jeff Heaton to symbolize American men and women that were killed in the Iraq war. Amid the crosses is a sign that tells people exactly what that number is. It has recently been changed to reflect the soldiers that were also killed in Afghanistan as well. That number now stands at 5,166 and is updated every week as necessary to represent the new tally. The property they stand on is owned by Louise Clark and her deceased husband Johnson Clark who happens to be a WWII veteran. Of course when the memorial first got underway there were strong opinions on both sides. Some say it is disrespectful to the troops and others say that it's simply stating a fact. I tend to agree with the latter. I have a brother who is a U.S. Marine and understand his job and what he's supposed to do and fully support him in doing that. It just seems that when you put something into the sort of perspective this memorial does that people tend to get angry and upset with reality. I ask myself questions such as why are we still there? What are we fighting for now? And the reality is my brother has been one of the lucky ones to survive Iraq twice. He's not some pencil pusher that just gets to watch everyone. He's the first one in and the last one out. I hope to never have to put a cross on that hill for him...


  1. An amazing sight. We will never forget them.

  2. We may not agree with the where or why of these wars,but it in no way means we do not support the men and woman serving there.I just want them home safe with us all.Thank you for sharing a reminder of some of the cost of being there.


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