Saturday, November 11, 2006

A Pause, Before Moving On...

Arlington West, Santa Barbara CA

Flags are planted as part of a weekly memorial in Santa Barbara honoring American military personnel killed in the Iraq war.
About a dozen volunteers have shown up week after week since the start. They're joined by up to 30 others who appear now and again. Some started coming only in recent months, prompted by rumors that the project would cease for lack of help.

Except for a few rainouts, this Santa Barbara display has been erected every Sunday since Nov. 2, 2003. At its start the project had 340 of them. Last Sunday, there were 2,831.

A committee is grappling with the question of limiting the crosses, which now span nearly an acre of prime beachfront. Although the city has given its blessing to the project, some volunteers grimly anticipate that it might one day crowd sunbathers and spill over into areas reserved for beach volleyball.

A debate over its propriety recently flared in the letters columns of the Santa Barbara News-Press, with some writers saying it exploits fallen heroes for political gain.