19th September 2007

Autumn @ Adams

Adams State CollegeOne of my two nieces is a teacher at Adams State College in Alalmosa, Colorado, and she recently sent me pictures of one of the events from their 4th annual “Autumn @ Adams” festivities, held from mid-August until the end of last week. The theme this year for their month-long A@A was “Understanding Peace“.

Although this terrific month of activities included films, guest speakers, and a religious roundtable (amongst numerous other things), all open to the public and organized by volunteers, the picture she sent were from their memorial to those who have lost their lives fighting in Iraq, entitled “Remembering Lives Lost – Bringing It Home“. Even writing about it now brings a lump to my throat. (See below for some photos). This is taken directly from her letter:

“I personally see the “Remembering Lives Lost – Bringing it Home” project as the most impactful part of this year’s A@A. No one can just glance at a guest speaker and take away what they can from seeing 3,989 crosses on a college lawn. There is a cross made specifically for each American solider who has lost their life in the current war. The last cross we placed was for a solider who died on August 15th. 3,914 crosses were made with a picture, ranking, birth and death date, and how that particular solider became a casuality. We placed 75 blank crosses to represent the people who will lose their lives while the memorial is up. What is even sadder than seeing all the crosses is that, since putting the crosses I have been checking on CNN.com for the death toll, and as of Sept. 10th we have already lost 81 more lives. That surpasses the 75 we placed for representation. We have 3 locals represented in the thousands of crosses and to see family and friends out searching for their particular loved one is horrifying. I tear up just thinking about it. It took us about 7 hours to place them all; however, the group of about 15 people who helped to place the crosses can not take all the credit. There is a group of about 40 people in Telluride, CO that make, update, and ship the crosses all over the nation to be displayed. They have done tons of research and have numbered all the crosses so people can easily find a particular solider. They state that the crosses have no religious attachment and are simply used as an international symbol for death. The group is called “This republic CAN” and their mission is “To promote political participation through education and action”. Chris Myers, principal architect of the local non-partisan citizens group said “The organization has evolved as a result of the community need to act on important issues. It has given people the courage to step forward and erase the feeling of being a lone voice.” Working with Chris was a very eye-opening and rewarding experience. We will take the crosses down tomorrow, sad but true. If left up too long the impact may dilute.”

Even though Autumn@Adams is over for this year, I felt strongly that all those who participated and gave of their time to plan, organize, and conduct all the activities deserve recognition and kudos, as do the terrific folks at This Republic CAN for all their hard work ensuring that we don’t forget the sacrifices that have been made.

A big shout out and thanks to my niece Jandalyn for making me aware of this so that I could share it with you.

Click on any of the photos below for a larger version.

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