History of Arlington West and Evolution into Costs of Wars
Arlington West began 11 years ago in Santa Barbara California as a protest against the American attack on Iraq and our government trying to hide that Americans troops were coming home in coffins. Steve Sherrill, a local cabinetmaker, made 340 crosses and a group of local activists pounded them into the sand next to Stearn’s Wharf on November 2, 2003. The response by the public was positive so it was decided to do it again. 10 years later we were still there. A mom wrote her fallen son’s name on a cross and the protest became a memorial. For years we put up 3000 crosses with names and flags every Sunday. Over 1700 names have been visited by family, friends and combat buddies, some names dozens of times.
In Aug. of 2010 when we were told the Iraq War was over, we changed the crosses to represent the US deaths in Afghanistan and built a miniature wall like the Vietnam Wall in DC to remember the Iraq fallen.
As we were told that the war in Afghanistan was coming to an end, we felt that the interest in the wars had dwindled with the American public and we stopped setting up for a year.
The possibility of a new war in 2014 prompted us to set up a new display demonstrating the Real Costs of War.