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Gold Star Families to Join Arlington West Veterans Day Weekend

by Tonia Wednesday, Nov. 09, 2005 at 2:11 AM
tonia4@earthlink.net 310-455-2688

Veterans For Peace - LA Gears Up For Three-Day Veterans Day Weekend of Events at Arlington West in Santa Monica on Friday, November 11th thru Sunday, November 13th As Death Toll for US Troops Killed in Iraq Rises to 2,055 to Date Highlight of Weekend’s Event: Contingent of California Gold Star Families to Lead Procession of 100 Flag-Draped Coffins Through Streets of Santa Monica Noon on Saturday, November 12th

Veterans For Peace - LA Gears Up For Three-Day

Veterans Day Weekend of Events at Arlington West in Santa Monica on Friday, November 11th thru Sunday, November 13th

As Death Toll for US Troops Killed in Iraq Rises to 2,055 to Date

Highlight of Weekend’s Event:

Contingent of California Gold Star Families to Lead Procession

of 100 Flag-Draped Coffins Through Streets of Santa Monica

Noon on Saturday, November 12th

Call for Volunteers to Set-up Crosses on Friday Morning and for 400 Pallbearers on Saturday Morning

WHERE: Arlington West is North of the Santa Monica Pier on the Beach

(Near Santa Monica Fwy. and Pacific Coast Hwy.)

WHEN: Friday, November 11th thru Sunday, November 13th

(See full schedule below)

WHO: California Gold Star Family Members, Veterans from Iraq, Gulf, Vietnam, Korea and WWll wars, local clergy.

SANTA MONICA, CA-- Just weeks after Americans learned of the sad milestone of 2,000 U.S. troops killed in Iraq war, the country will commemorate Veterans Day Weekend with ceremonies and tributes.

Veterans for Peace – Los Angeles is sponsoring a Arlington West Memorial 'Veterans Day Weekend' program of events running for three full days and two nights, on Friday, November 11th thru Sunday, November 13th on the beach north of the Santa Monica Pier.

The highlight of the weekend’s events will be a procession on Saturday, November 12th, beginning at noon from Arlington West that will loop through the streets and sidewalks of Santa Monica, 400 volunteer pallbearers will carry 100 flag-draped coffins.

A contingent of California Gold Star family members will lead the walk carrying large photos of their beloved husbands, sons, siblings, or boyfriends, who were killed in the Iraq War.

War Veterans will lay wreaths at the Veterans Monument in Palisades Park. Members of the interfaith community will offer prayers of honor and remembrance at the monument.

On Veterans Day morning, Friday November 11, members of Veterans for Peace and volunteers will erect more than 2,050 crosses in the sand at Arlington West in Santa Monica north of Santa Monica Pier.

Every Sunday for the last year and a half, Veterans for Peace - LA have paid tribute not only to the fallen U.S. soldiers in Iraq, but also to the countless innocent Iraqi civilians by creating this temporary cemetery.

Flag-draped coffins will rest in the forefront, beside a 20-foot long board that names the dead servicemen and women. Visitors are invited to write the name of a soldier, any personal comment, and with a fresh flower, place name and photo to each cross, and a candle.

SCHEDULE: Arlington West Santa Monica Veterans Day Weekend

Friday, November 11th thru Sunday, November 13th

WHERE: Arlington West is North of the Santa Monica Pier on the Beach

(All events listed below are located at Arlington West unless otherwise designated)

****

WHEN: FRIDAY, NOV 11TH

7:30AM: The memorial of over 2,050 crosses will be erected.

Congresswoman Maxine Waters has been invited to participate.

2:00 PM: Speakers will read the names of the soldiers killed at the top of each hour.

A gong will sound as each name is read aloud.

WHO: Kevin McKeown, Santa Monica City Council Member

Abdul Henderson, Iraq War Veteran, Marine Corporal, featured in Michael Moore's film Fahrenheit 9/11

Tim Goodrich, Iraq and Afghanistan War Veteran, Air Force

Bill Mitchell, Vietnam Veteran and father of Army Sgt. Michael Mitchell, 25, of Porterville, CA killed in Sadr City, Baghdad on April 4, 2004 (along with ‘Peace Mom’ Cindy Sheehan’s son Casey.)

Joyce Riley, Gulf War Veteran, served as Captain in U.S. Air Force

4:30 PM: Candlelight vigil ceremony will begin, 1,000 candles will illuminate a field of 2,000 plus crosses and continue burning through the night.

Iraq Vet, Lance Corporal Jeff Key will play taps at dusk.

6:15 PM: Two films will be projected on the wall of the pier: A Line in the Sand and The Ground Truth.

****

WHEN: SATURDAY, NOV 12TH

7:30 -11:00 AM: 100 coffins will be assembled and draped with flags by Volunteers

NOON: Procession will begin at Arlington West and loop through the streets of Santa Monica, 400 pallbearers will carry 100 flag- draped coffins.

Gold Star Families will lead the march carrying large photos of their beloved husbands and children who were killed in Iraq.

WHO: Melanie House, of Simi Valley, CA, husband, HM3 John D. House, 28, was killed near Ar Rutbah in western Iraq on January 26, 2005

Vickie Castro, of Corona, CA, son Army Spc. Jonathan Castro, 21, was killed in Mosul, Iraq on December 21, 2004

Bill Mitchell, son Army Sgt. Michael Mitchell, 25, of Porterville, CA was

killed in Sadr City Baghdad on April 4, 2004 (along with ‘Peace Mom,’ Cindy Sheehan’s son Casey)

Joanna Kubik, of Long Beach, CA, boyfriend Lance Cpl. Shane C. Swanberg, 24, of Kirkland, Wash, was killed in Ramadi, Iraq on Sept 15, 2005.

The Figueroa Family, of Lance Cpl. Luis A. Figueroa, 21, of Los Angeles, Ca, killed in Al Anbar Province, Iraq, on November 18, 2004

Along with a contingent of Iraq War Veterans and veterans from the Gulf War, Vietnam, Korea, and WWll. Elected officials, veterans, clergy, and the general public are all welcome to join as pallbearers.

12:45 PM: War veterans will lay four wreaths at the Veterans Monument in Palisades Park. Members of the interfaith community will offer prayers of honor and remembrance at the monument.

2:00 PM: Speakers include:

WHO: Ron Kovic, decorated Vietnam Vet and author of 'Born on the 4th of July'

Melanie House, of Simi Valley, CA, husband, HM3 John D. House, 28, was killed in Iraq on January 26, 2005

Vickie Castro, of Corona, CA, son Army Spc. Jonathan Castro, 21, was killed in Iraq on December 21, 2004

Mimi Kennedy, actor/activist

4:30 PM: Candlelight vigil will begin.

Iraq Vet Lance Corporal Jeff Key will play taps at dusk.

6:15 PM: Arlington West the Film by Sally Marr and Peter Dudar will be projected on the wall of the pier.

******

WHEN: SUNDAY, NOV 13TH

9:30 - 10:00 AM: Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, Director of Interfaith Inventions, will lead an interfaith Ceremony of Remembrance to commemorate the lives of those who perished and to comfort those who remain.

11:00 AM: Screening, Filmmaker Bruce Royer will screen A Line in the Sand ([a] [documentary about Arlington West directed by Leszek Burzynski)

WHERE: Laemmle Monica 4-Plex Theatre, 1332 2nd Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401.

WHO: Gold Star Father and Vietnam Vet, Bill Mitchell, and Veterans for Peace member will speak immediately following the screening.

12:30 PM: The theater audience will walk a few blocks south to Arlington West.

2:00 PM: Members of the interfaith community will speak and read names of the soldiers at Arlington West joined by:

WHO: Jane Bright, of West Hills, CA, whose son Army Sgt. Evan Ashcraft was KIA in Mosul, Iraq on July 24, 2003.

4:30 PM: The memorial will be put away until the following Sunday, when it will be resurrected, as it has been displayed every Sunday for the past year and a half.

###

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