In this season of heavy rain, the second wettest winter in California history, the men and women who set up the Arlington West Memorial every Sunday on the beach north of the Santa Monica Pier have some of the hardest and certainly the saddest jobs in town.
Every Sunday, rain, shine or fog, they gather at the site to set up the field of 1400-plus white, red and blue crosses in the sand, spend the day talking with the people who visit the memorial, and then pack up the crosses and remove them about an hour before sunset.
When Veterans for Peace created Arlington West Memorial to honor U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq, fewer than 400 had been killed. By last Sunday, well over 1500 had been killed.
Veterans for Peace plans to continue making the nonpartisan memorial every Sunday until the United States pulls its troops out of Iraq, but, as one of them said, “It is becoming a gigantic task,” and so the group has issued a call for volunteers.
It hopes to recruit people who can help one or two Sundays a month, every Sunday, or just occasionally.
Anyone in the Los Angeles area who would like to help should email Ed Ellis at firstname.lastname@example.org or just show up ready to help at the site around 8 a.m. any Sunday morning or an hour before sunset.
The Veterans report that it’s very rewarding work as the memorial helps people understand the true cost of the war, and gives them a unique opportunity to pay tribute to the fallen soldiersFor more information on Veterans for Peace, Arlington West and other projects, go to http://www.veteransforpeace.org