Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Veterans' Day The Project Coming Down

Veteran's Day The War Dead Wall Comes Down

Bob never intended the wall to stay up forever. He thought it likely that when the rains came the ink would drip and make the whole sad list even sadder looking. But it turns out Sharpies are permanent markers as advertised and it was the wall paper paste on the rough cement wall that couldn't last forever or even outlast a strong wind we had a few days ago. With the list blown and tattered, Bob decided Veterans' Day was a good day to take it down. He wrote the two most recently dead soldiers' names on the bottom of the list and then peeled it off and stored it in the garage. On the one remaining blank panel he wrote:

November 11, 2008
Dear Neighbors,

As you see, I have removed my Iraq war dead project. It was not intended to be permanent and this seemed a proper day to take it down.

I want to thank all who looked at the wall for their courtesy. Before the project went up people warned me it might be graffitied, trashed or worse. None of that happened. Instead, thousands of people took the time to read and think about it and hundreds wrote comments or spoke to me about their reactions. You can still read those touching, interesting and insightful notes, because my wife Michelle has posted them at

Best of all, no one (not one citizen, let alone the government) has even tried to tell me I can't say what I think about this war. America isn't perfect, but it's a great country.

Happy Veterans' (or Armistice) Day to all of you.


Bob Perkins

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Fourth Round of Comments

Hello Bob, I am visiting from across the states. I was thoroughly touched by this memorial. I am from Italy and my grandmother still remembers the horrors of war during WW II, like in 1941-1945. Thank you reminding me and all those who stumble upon this memorial, what the true spirit of this country is really about. As a future citizen thank you. Audra, Orlando, FL

Don't forget 9-11 Let's not blame Bush only, Congress and Senate. Everybody bears the blame. Simon S.

This is very cool.. My step dad was Col. B. N. USAF and proud Vietnam Vet Pilot. I am proud of our veterans! Thanks for the memorial. Greg M., neighbor

I think this is the coolest thing ever! I am Greg M.'s daughter Summer M. and I am 10. My grandpa died from lung cancer and he was a colonel in the air force. Summer M.

Bob. Keep up the good work. I am with you 100% Stu.

Thank you !

A "just war" is an oxymoron. Kehley M., Fairhope, Alabama

Thank you for taking the time to remember the heroes who risk their lives! Cassidy A.

I've walked by multiple times (I live up the street) and your wall always makes me think and realize how lucky I am. One of my best friends went to Iraq and luckily returned with only a serious injury. Thank you for making the sacrafice of these great Americans public. God bless Hagan O.

Bob, Thank you for speaking out and illustrating your point in a dramatic and effective way. Your voice is the voice of patriotism stemming from rational thoughts. It is a comfort to know that I am not alone in these opinions for I feared at times I was a stranger in my own land. thank you again and I will plan on bringing my children down this way to show them your patriotic message. Robin S.

Good for you! So many of us, myself included, share your sentiments, but do not voice them. Thank you for speaking up. I hope people listen. CR

Since the Republicans and God won't end the war - maybe the Dems will. Bring em home. VS

Nice work Bob! Thank God for free speech! Hopefully "the end" is on the horizon. ANP

So cool and welcomed and needed - Bless you and thanks! Susan H.

Thanks for your expression of what a lot of us feel. You honor our traditions of free expression. JWM

I feel the same way as you do and have felt this way since 9/11. We'll vote for Obama and hope peace will come to us with our troops. Love, Marie M.

Thanks Bob and Michelle (for the publicity)! Martha A.

11-1-08 Help is on the way!!! Two more days!

Right on!! Well done!!

Hey Bob - Appreciate your statement! Of course no one is sent to die. You know that. But I agree they shouldnt have to go. I just don't want to be guilty of looking the other way either. Like Hilter's Germany we must stand up to tyrants. Iraq, Darfur, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Congo, Zimbabwe. We must pick our battles for sure. But, we can't stand by and just protect our own home and hearth. Your effort is a wall of honor and a tragedy that anyone must die.
Your friend, Dave H.

Omaira A. - Manhattan Beach resident Nov. 3, 2008
Day before election - day after my mom's birthday - I stumble upon a peculiar house that caught my attention. Not only to find a landmark notch on my beach run, but what I believe to be is a historical monument. The more I observe, the more I learn about our natural humility towards the connection we, as a country have, for our citizens. I grew closer the the hand-written names as if I had written them if my brothers' names could have been on it. Although their chosen path was not in Iraq, it could very well have been. And still I find this notebook. You have given us. Or shall I say, helped provide us with our God-given freedom -- of speech. A paper, a pen, and our thoughts. Thank you for your sympathy. Thank you for your courage. insight and your caring heart. Because of your unselfish and humane efforts, this particular Monday has found me personally enriched. God bless you , your family and our extended families lost and still fighting. And God Bless America.

I am proud to have served and I honor the sacrifice of the fallen. Sean G. US Navy

Nov. 5, 2008 Bob, Well I hope we can make a change and put an end to this tragic era of US government. Let's all work together for peace and hope for a better tommorrow. Thanks for bringing these honorable people to our attention and into our memories. Frances B.

Nov 7 Barack Hussein Obama The air even feels differently, anything is possible. People of my generation and the ones after can live and grow without any glass ceilings or inbred racial/sexual oriented bias or prejudice. America has spoken, "Yes we can!" Tannis N. age 20 Torrance, CA

God bless and heal those who hate. May our Blessed Mary be with the mothers of those honored men and women to provide comfort and healing.

I'm sorry you are a veteran - the majority disagrees with you. Also the Congress voted three times to attack Iraq and the U.N. (who will rule us under Obama).

I appreciate the resistence to WAR. "Freedom Plan" please! We are no different than the enemy. But these men and women are brave and trusting and we need them. Thanks for paying them respect. Carson. R. Kelawna , B.C. Canada

You have stated eloquently what had needed to be said for 7 years. The media who couldn't wait for the war to begin (martial music-slogans-Wolf Blitzer) Still have not addressed the underlying lie which put us there- thank you. This is a moving tribute indeed.

Wow - Hope for change

Saturday, October 25, 2008

3rd Set of Comments

I was there but made it back - President Bush is fuckin' whack.  Bobby

God Bless U  Bob   We must be the ones to create the peace within our hearts and minds to have peace in the world. Here's to ones that gave their lives for what they believed.  Let's be the change Let's be the love  Let's be the peace      Blessings    Kerri A.

Dear Bob,  God bless you and all veterans who sacrifice their lives for USA.  I am a muslim and US citizen support peace in world.   God Bless you,     a Muslim citizen

Thanks you for this memorial.  Daryl B.  Nebraska

Hi Bob - Thanks for your heartfelt memorial. It hits me there.  I called the Beach Reporter re: your fantastic work.   Don S.

Unjustified war, unwanted occupations, and needless loss has been the unfortunate mantra by which this country has built upon and continues to this day (i.e. the need for your magnificent, but sad wall).   Even more sad, is the recognized need for change...and the pitiful state of acting to do so.  When names that are recognizable to each one of us dawn on your wall,...then we'll see action.  Until the, praises to your "anonymous heroes." S.R.B.  Redondo Beach

Thank you!  I have served in Iraq 2 X's (with the Stage Department which I eventually resigned from out of disgust for out treatment of Iraqis and our own soldiers there) and now live 1/2 the year there working with the people of Iraq to show them the U.S. is not an enemy.  Many of my friends are listed below.  Thank you for honoring them.  Karin 

Right on Bob A.

This is amazing and impressive and so sad--thank you for this "reality."  J.

Thank you!     Steve-- El Segundo

How does the sentence in back end? I presume these are the brave people who were claimed by the Iraq debacle?  Thank you--nice reminder--since we are not allowed to see actual coffins on TV!   I will knock on your door one day--thanks again!    Debbie C.

Good work, Bob.  I look at the names in the paper every day, and we need reminders like this too.  But how does the sentence at the top end?  ---Bart

Magnificent display!  Thank you for the reality check!  What a waste of life....  G.

We appreciate this display. Our son is a Lt. Commander in the US Navy.  He is and all our family are the greatest patriots of America.  E. C.

Great Work...Thank you!

Thank you for taking the time and love and energy to let the world have a chance to know the meaning of life.    May God bless the souls of these Brave Men and Women.  They are now Angels in Heaven watching over us.  Let's all pray that we overcome this time of troubles, war and human errors and return to being a Great Nation under God, that we trust!   HW

Good luck and God Bless.  I hope people appreciate this display and respect it.  Peace is patriotic, not war.

Thank you.  Respectfully,   Molly P, 2nd Lt. , USAF

Makes one realise just how many lives have been wasted.  Amazing commitment for you to do this.  Paul, England

Good work!  It is October 8, 2008 and I believe George Bush is finally realizing the horrors he created.  If you Google...Defense Planning Guidance - 1992, then P.N.A.C.  It's all there!  I salute your wonderful efforts  Richard R.

These people are hero!  Mr. Perkins,   Thank you for doing it!

God Bless you for doing this.  D.G.

Go Obama!


Hi Bob,  Thank you for taking the time to do this project and reinforce a truly sad reality in the U.S.  I was here yesterday.  I told many friends and relatives about this all over USA.  Only here can something so special be found.  I am moved to tears.  God Bless you.  Vote for Obama  F S C resident y 90266

Dear Mr. Perkins,   Peace for everyone on earth!!  No wars anymore.  Wolfgang from Bavaria, Southern Germany

Job well done!  Keep it up!  God Bless you for your spirit of love.  P.M.

Thank you Hopefully it doesn't get much bigger.  J. C.

hello kind sir:  I have noticed your display and it is very nice.  God Bless You   M.R.M

Sex drugs & rock and roll!  (That is disgusting)    (why write that next to war vets?)

My mouth is still hanging open from my amazement, awe, respect I feel from looking at all these names and the work you put into this.  It says way more than anything I've seen.  Thank you for doing this.      Debby M.

You've touched me --thank you!

I'm so proud someone has voiced the feeling of all right minded people.  I hope with all my heart that the Republicans don't steal the election  - Go Democrats   Vicki S.

Dear Mr. Perkins,   What is the list of?  Sorry if someone tore a section just curious.   It seems you have put a bunch of effort in.  Guessing it has to do with the war.  If so Bravo!

(editor's note--the notebook was a steno pad and people started from the front and the back so I starting typing from one of the front pages and some of these above comments were posted when the piece was only partly done and they were guessing at the meaning of the list of names)


What an incredible commitment you have!  Very thoughtful and impressive.  Thank you for doing this! Wow!  Nice mother and child sculpture also..  Ties in with war/peace. 

Thank you for recognizing we will never forget freedom for all.  Francisca, Brussels (Belgium)

They died for America for their buddies next to them, and for you, so you could enjoy this nice view in freedom so be grateful and show some respect.  They were not sent to die.  They (we) went willingly to serve our country and make a better life for the Iraqi people.  Freedom is not free.  Semper Fidelis  Adam C.  Iraq - Feb 04 - Dec 04.

Thank you for providing the ultimate sacrifice for your country.  We need more people like you. Thanks  Matt B & Jared B.

I'm a neighbor.  I am so touched by this memorial.  You have made the reality of this war something to contemplate every day.  Thank you for what you have done.  Suzanne H.

Thank you!  Bring our troops home.  OBAMA!  - Catherine  Man. Bch.

Good for you!  Bring em home.  Bill H.

Bring them Home!  Thank you for your info.  911 was a demolition by Cheney & Bush!  "The Pentagon"  the 1st plane eating building!  Take Care   Doug         It's True!

Wow!  Good for you!!  Why aren't there more people like you.  Thank you!  Connie  

Please add Sgt Aram Bass

Brave lives wasted  Bob W.

Dear Bob,  this is great. It's personal hand work which makes a warm heart!  Thank you very much.  Good work.  J. S.

Bob - Thanx - As a health pro - I served in Viet Nam twice!  67 and Tet in 68...I saw too much stuff!  I wish this was all...I am proud of our effort  Thank you again for your thoughts and recognition of these heroes -  God Bless America  J. C.  DDS

Thank you for reminding us of what war really is like.  Bless every service person for their help.  Kay H.

What a beautiful and thoughtful tribute!  Thank you.  DC

I wish our whole country could see your letter.  Thank you for making people aware!!

We have to end this war  Helmet H.

Thanks for remembering, and keeping the brave soldiers in our thoughts.

What an amazing tribute.  I am so impressed and thank you for keeping their memory and spirits alive and all consciences alert!  You are inspirational and very kind.

Never again...thanks for showing support.  S. K.

Amen  -mb

Thank you for saying so intelligently what so many Americans feel.  God Bless---Jennifer B.

This is important for people to see.  Thank you-!  Suzanne L.  M.B.  Proud Code Pink Supporter

Thank you , and God bless you for your compassion and wisdom.  Mike M.

A heartfelt tribute.  God bless you  Barbara C.

This is really great.  It says something.  I am inspired by your time and patience.  GOBAMA 08'
Alexa R.

......Bush.  I hate him.  what a nazi asshole.  NADER  08'!

Second round of Comments

Beautifully done.  It brought tears to my eyes.  We have lost so much.  McCain's choice of Palin demonstrated that he is no "maverick" but will serve the same politicians as Bush.  His agenda is to get elected, using every stratagem that W's king-makers used.  I fear for my country. 

WOW! We (heart) you and we (heart) Obama!  Have a good day!


Bob! (from Constance R.   Extreme Make-Over:Home Edition)  Your former next-door neighbor, Connie, wants to thank you for your thoughtful memorial.  Your heart, ever in the right place, is expressed in every way.  Even your built environment, your home, expresses the truest and highest nature of your heart and the heart of your family.  I am happy beyond belief to see "Our Lady of El Porto" here on your terrace--as she once graced mine.  It makes perfect sense--that you would honor those who have loved us and our great country on the very foundation walls of your home.  Thank you for your continuing kindness.   
Your former neighbor,   Connie

Thank you for illustrating how many lives have been lost for our country---Judy H. and Jennifer

Excellent Virgil G.

While I appreciate your view, I do not wholly agree.  As an Air Force Vet I spent 2 years of my life in Turkey, 1.5 years in Bahrain, 1.25 years in Saudi Arabia supporting sanctions against Iraq. Sadam was an evil man and the world is better off without him.  Should we have invaded?  I don't know.  Could have been done better?  Yes!  I do know we are there now and need to finish it.  Those of us in the US Military are volunteers and meet our nation's call.  We need to choose our leaders wisely.  I do appreciate you remembering (honoring) those who have met our nation's call with their lives.  Leadership is a mountain.  You have to hope the one at the top (who has the best view) does right by those behind and below him.  Even if you try to walk around the mountain the view is not as good as that on top!  So choose carefully when you vote.  Remember avoiding a fight is not always the right course either.  We are lucky to have the most powerful military ever, but blood maybe (will) be shed (who knows mine) (I am still in the AE Reserve).  Having been to Iraq, Pakistan and all the places we fight I know 90% of people are at heart good.  While we can't be unilateral in our approach we need to be a bulwark against tyranny and oppression.  Yes we have problems here but we created those and hurt ourselves. There is no us/them any more.  The world is approaching a point where we will all depend on each other.  Someone needs to lead this unification, and as the most powerful country on earth by any standard we need to make smart choices personally, politically, professionally and militarily, if we are to remain leaders of the free world.  Investigate the issues, become educated on the facts and then VOTE.  
This is what these men and women died for.  To give you this right.
Brian DFC, OIF, OEF   Vote!!!

You are insane

Bob,  I consider your actions to be that of a true patriot!  I see a man who cares deeply about human life and his country.  I honor and respect you.  Thank you for your service and your voice.
You are my kind of American!   Sky H.

Remember -- Freedom is not Free!

I salute and honor our heroes.  They volunteered to free Iraqis from tyranny.  God bless America and may God bless our troop.
Thank you Bush for your patriotism and for protecting us from our enemies.

We are song writers and we will write something about your lovely work.  Maybe u will hear it one day?  Claudice & Sarah!  Bff's  (The Prodigy's)

With you all the way!  Von - USMC 1966-70      3 Purple Hearts in Vietnam  100% disabled veteran.

Thank you for showing me just how bad this war really is!   I hope one day we can all live in peace, love and happiness.  "Freedom is not free, a veteran paid for it."
Live Love Laugh  Sarah  M.

Vote McCain 4 president!

To Bob,  We are only kids  Me and my bff saw your master piece  I learned 2 appreciate things more!

I can only hope that the rest of this wall doesn't get full.  Thank you for reminding me not to take my life and those around me for granted.  J. K.

Go McCain & Palin

Thank you for bringing this sacrifice home to remind us how damaging this foreign policy and the war in Iraq has been to our great nation.

You write beautifully.  Thanks for helping to reveal the truth.  Jan C.

Thanks for your moving and reasoned statement.  Would that all veterans have your clear insight.  Carol C. NYC

Go McCain Palin (sick)

For those who don't think we should be fighting Al Quaeda and all other forms of terrorism, go live in any other country in the world.  Then maybe you will begin to appreciate what you've got right here!

Thank you this is real support for our troops.  We need to know about and appreciate their sacrifices.  And we need to take responsibility --our elected government caused this.

Right on!!!

A nice testament to those who have died serving our country.  It makes me sad that their deaths will be (and are) used as political capital.  Jaclyn B.

Thank you for the time spent for this loving tribute.  Pray to end this war and all future wars. Nan C.

Hi Bob--
I leave back for Iraq in less than 2 weeks.  I'll miss the ocean runs and my neighborhood but will think fondly on you and this wall.  Thank u!  Karin K.

Welcome home soldiers!  xoxo Irene

That's why!  We God the Lord doesn't any mistakes!  Always remember this!   Mr. Dynamite

Thank you!  You speak not only from your heart but from that of many of us who are horrified by what the Bush administration has reduced our beloved country to.  P EACE IS PATRIOTIC
Vote Obama  I. M.

Thank you sooo much.  Well said.   I just photographed your message.  I'm working on the Obama campaign in Monterey County.  Alexandra M.

Bob,   Thanks for doing this.  What you said reflects our thoughts.  Nov. 4 we must go in a new direction on this and many things.  Kevin and Chris P.

This is a very thoughtful memorial.  To actually see all the people's names is really sad!  Brett and Jennifer

Beautifully and intelligently displayed and explained--Thank you--Portia C.

Thanks for doing this.  Wow!  This is a real eye-opener...  I pray for peace every night.  Hope to meet you sometime, Bob.  I don't usually walk down this far (from H.B.) But I just might start!) Melinda R. Redondo Beach 

Thank you!!! We're putting up a memorial of our own, inspired by your tribute.     PJ, HB

Hopefully this will serve as a reminder to everyone how senseless wars are.   
Michael, Hamburg, Germany

Please waterproof this for when winter rains come!  More people nationwide need to read this!

Thank you for your time and recognition of our troops  God Bless    Rich N.

Faith Love Hope  -SDL

Very neat piece  - SR

Obama is a socialist--I would rather fight for freedom than give it up to his agenda--  PS Do you want Chicago thugs in the White House?  Bill Ayers,  Director of Homeland Security?

Thanks you for recognizing our fallen soldiers  Eric S.

Thank you for caring and taking a stand  S. D.

Bob & Michelle - Beautiful work and an inspiration towards peace  Love Joyce S.

Thank you for doing this!  You have my vote  Rebecca K.

Great!  Thank you!  This is a great thing to do --- very well stated!  Jeff and Pierre  Vancouver, BC   All Americans should read your letter.   Please send it to the editors of all the newspapers in the U.S.A!

Thank you ! Magnificent! thank you for your courage and willingness to spread the truth!  D. J.

Vote 2008 Blue   I agree with your fully.  How can we change the American Government?  So many corrupt Senators,  $ their ideas of Americans.  Yes I do agree with you 100%.  There are many Americans such as myself who believe that CHANGE IS FAR PAST DUE.  How do we change our government?  Who is the real executive power for 2008?  They all tell lies to get there!

I am deeply touched by your efforts!  I feel as you do.  No more killing.  Not our sons and daughters.  Not Iraqi sons and daughters.  Let Peace Prevail!  Margaret G.

Thank you! Mr. Perkins   To Others - If you believe in God how can you believe in war?

Think Global Act Local - Thank you

It's a shame not more people in our country feel and know the truth of the great men and women serving our country.   God sees them.  And that's what helps me smile  - Elijah C.

You are stupid

Dear Bob, What a most wonderful and touching reminder of who we should aspire to be as a people and as a nation.  We salute your for this wonderful memorial and your eloquent words. Thank you!  Markus & Minny R.

Bob,  What an awesome way to show your patriotism.  You're a great man who truly knows the meaning of American.

We are thankful for people like you.  Many thanks for all of your work.  The Bush administration broke my heart and spirit, but I'm back on track and very hopeful. Go Obama! J.

Thank God someone tells the truth, our government is afraid to. If a war is worth fighting, it's worth a vote on it.  Greg P.

Bob:  Thank you.  I agree with you completely.  I suspect Iraqi losses are, in fact, much higher.  I served in the US Army Security Agency 1954-1957.  John R. M. PhD

What an amazing gift you have created in memorium of those who have served for us!  Hillary & Nicole

Thank you !  for reminding those of us that others sacrificed everything to give us a safe home. 
I wish war was not the way.  Love  Diane

It's not!

It's time that we Americans woke up to the reality of what's happening around us.  We do have a say in what nations our country invades and where our honorable soldiers are sent to sacrifice their lives. It gives me hope in the goodness of our country to see candidates like Barak Obama, concerned citizens who spend the time to create such a wonderful display, and the great number of people who have signed this book. I hope that in 2009 we can become a nation that spends more money of healthcare, not warfare, education not incarceration and investing in our young not enlisting them is a war to get more oil.  Go Bless us All! Hoda

God Bless you Bob -- Whether or not people agree with you--I salute your heart, your courage and your leadership in speaking out so eloquently.  SG

West Coast Representation

Thank you for bringing this to light!  What an impact it makes to see the many names of those who have sacrificed their lives for this "war."   Peace  D.

It's nice you respected these people.  I admire what you did.  God Bless. C. W. Redondo Beach

Great idea     Very patriotic   J.C,  Hermosa Beach

Very Touching, Mr. Perkins.  Thank you for speaking out loud!  Sonia (a French Canadian in disbelief)

Amazing monument - but what about the thousand more of innocent Iraqi's?  Shall they remain nameless?  Lisa

To all war veterans  -  War is not the answer  Peace and Love  Cdm. S. a WW II vet.

What you have done here is incredible.  I admire and respect your efforts to honor those who gave their lives in the name of our country and freedom!

I support your work  Asha  Redondo Beach

Mike Petrowski  -  29 years a friend from High School in Washington DC was in an airborne division.

Don't forget to vote!  That's what they sacrificed for.  Thank you for this!  Roz F.

May we all not forget that all these soldiers are now with God.  L.K.

Bob - heartfelt thanks for your service to our country as a veteran and also with this labor of inspiration. We appreciate your ability to express what it also in our hearts and minds. Neighbor on 34th St.

Mr. Perkins,   I commend you for this display of patriotism.  This war is senseless and we don't need to lose anymore Americans to the oil companies  - Steven. T.

Thank God someone is speaking for peace.  It's heart-breaking that we are losing good people to this war - and for what?  Can our Army build schools, hospitals, bridges, electric cars, solar panels here at home?  AMJ

Had we handled this right we could have captured Bin Laden and cleared out with our respect intact, saved thousand of lives and billions of dollars.  John G.

Hi Bob  -  While I honor your service and your right to express your opinion IF YOU LIVED IN IRAQ when Saddam was in power you could have been executed for this display  Also as you note after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1991 --it was Sadam's government not honoring the truce that was the basis for the America invasion.  Willy L        P.S.  the Bath Party was created by Nazi's during WW II

Is there anyone out there who really believes that Palin would be a good president?  God have mercy on us all!  Larry

"Winning the war" !? Is it a "contest"?? Led by the worst (and dumbest, the "proud C student") in the history of the USA!  Don

Thank you for your work and dedication to this memorial C.G.

God Bless your efforts

Perfectly stated !  J. N.

Bob - Thank you.  Our nephew just joined the army and we pray he will not be on your list. Eileen P.

Hi Bob - Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you. For your clarity and for your courage!  Yes we can.  April H.W.  This gives me HOPE

Very nice.  Thank you for all the hard work you have put into creating this wall.  Max and Lynne

Bob and Michelle  Bless you for those we we everything to.        Bob and K.  S.

This is an amazing monument! You bring tears to my eye thank you  Sue T.

Great work!  L.A.S.D.  Lennox

Dear Bob  -  Thank you for taking the time and care to bring to our attention the real life costs of war --this war especially.  Your neighbor  Deborah. W.

Dear Bob and Michelle,  You are amazing!  Seeing your mural really touches one's heart.  Thank you too for all you do!  With love, Letizia

Friday, October 17, 2008

Comments on the Wall

Thank you for reminding us of how grateful we need to be! And thanks for also shedding light to those who don't realize that it's our gov.'t that continues to jeopardize our troops' lives. Great job. Thankfully, Luis

Thanks, thank you. We need more people like you that value our human race and our country. We thank you and appreciate you.    Alba M. & family My niece is in Iraq right now Thank you again.

These are the heroes in our country that allow us to roam free in the USA. But for these heroes, I have the great fortune to run on this Strand and raise children in a free country. Thank you for recognizing the role of these heroes! 
Vote McCain
{With an arrow pointing to above} Classy. NOT! Vote your heart, support your soldiers and thank you for your service to this county and this memorial. PJ

Troops died as a result of the war. Gov't didn't "send them to die."

This war will end some day! Thank you for putting this out here. Very truthful words. Peace & love, Rose D. & Running Team

I know Jamal Addison. We went to school together in Conyers, GA. I'm glad to see you have paid respect to him. Arman. T.

All these souls for a war we should have never been in: George W. Bush has blood on his hands. Andrew S. Los Angeles

Thanks to all the men and women that had, and have the courage to be on the line of duty. Bless all of them and their families, But still in my belief there should never be any war of any kind at any time. We have mouths to communicate, and strengths to solve problems. Not kill. AICP

Right on! Thank you for your service and honoring those who have made the untimate sacrifice. Paula

This whole display is sick

This comment is what is sick and very scary. McCain is such a "patriot" that he selects Palin---a slap in the face to our country.
On the contrary--this display is what being an American is all about: the right to express your opinion, to engage in an open debate, to disagree without fear of reprisal. Elizabeth

Thank you Bob, Great idea. Randy

This is absolutely right on! Thank you. Gary S.

Dear Bob
Thank you so much for all the time & effort & courage it took to acknowledge all these men & women & to also write your summary at the end. It feels good at least to know that you and others feel the same way that I do. Peace & love, Veronica D.

So often, people forget the true cost of war. These are our children, our fathers, our mothers, sisters and brother--not merely names, but lives. Whether given freely in the name of the freedom that allows us to choose or coerced by patriotic jingoism wrapped around a much larger goal to dominate an oil-rich region--we cannot forget these lives. Thank you for reminding us.
Thank you -

You should be ashamed of yourself saying "the government" sent our troops to die in Iraq. I wonder how good a job you would do in our government. It's easy to blame after the fact. Kathy

Thank you! These names represent lives lost. For no good reason. Robert W.

Bob---Thank you for all your dedicated work & very lucid expression. You reflect our thoughts and agree with your assessment of a serious problem. J and Arthur F.

Thank you--Beyond sad The horror of it ll Vote down Ameridan fascism Go Bama! Allen & Jeanne P.

Thank you for your concern and making more people aware of all the issues--You are a good guy & you are appreciated!! Phylis P.

Shame on you for defiling these men and women's names and patriotism for your political objective To frame this as if leaving Iraq would somehow make the world safer and to suggest Sadam Hussein was somehow a good stabilizing force vis a vis Iran is absurd and incredibly naive. Timothy F. USMC

Your the greatest Lala

Hi people I am nine years old!!

So many "heartbreaks" - so many to still follow- for an unnecessary war that should never been--- Richard

We really respect what you have created here on this wall. Hope it can move the hearts and minds of those who disagree with you to support the end of war. Thank you. Erika

Hi my name is Hayley and Im 14 yrs old. I was walking with my mom and saw all these names and i want you to know that this is the coolest thing i've ever seen. In my america studies class we learned about how corrupt the war was and i think my teacher would really like this! This is so stellar! Haley M. (with a flower face) Your SO Awesome! How long did it take to get all those names?

Can I write in Hayley M. for president Mark H.

Because of these amazing brave HEROES, our country is safe & we have not had another attack. They are true heroes because they chose to defend our country! Susan

"CHOSE"?? Wasn't it Bush/Cheney's "choice"!?

Spot on. What a waste of lives. Bush is nuts--for sure Well done. Bernard

How many innocent people were killed on 911! Can we have their names too? Wake up America! We have to fight for what we believe. Not just sit home and judge! Go McCain Palin, YES!

Thank you, beautifully said. JR

Well put. So true. Brought me to tears --Amy

We are from the U.K. and also do not believe in this war. Vote for Obama and lets hope our governments can bring back our troops. Love Ann & Fred B. Scotland, U.K.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Bob's Statement

Here's what is posted at the end of the list of the war dead.  
Dear Neighbors,
I honor these dead, the over 30,000 American wounded, and the hundreds of thousands who have served during this war.  A veteran myself I understand some of their sacrifice, and understand that U.S. Troops do not choose their missions.  The government chooses the war, and we the people choose the government.
These deaths are doubly sad because in Iraq our government ordered an attack, invasion and now occupation against the will of its people*of a country smaller than California* which did not threaten us, did not attack us,* and was an enemy of both Iran and Al Qaeda.  this war insults our American tradition that every nation (starting with our own, in 1776) has the right to choose its own government, a tradition which has made us a beacon for freedom.  We do not bully small nations.  We justly act when strong nations - Nazi German, the USSR and Iraq in 1991 for examples - invade weaker ones.  
Yes, al Qaeda earned our wrath on 9/11.  Iraq, though, had nothing to do with 9/11,* yet we spill our soldier's blood and rain terror in Iraq.  Terror?  Consider: our war (not our troops, but our war) has killed over 87,000 Iraqi civilians,* meaning that, per capital, it has killed more Iraqi civilians every week for 5 years than we lost on 9/11. *  Whether you call that "shock and awe" or terrorism, it is unworthy of America.
This doesn't diminish the valor of our men and women.  They have properly done their duty to follow the orders of the government we elected.  But if we support freedom, if we support America's principles, we will now do our duty and choose a government that will end this war without pursuing a "victory" which could further disgrace us by killing or cowing those Iraqis who don't support the government George Bush or John McCain* impose.
On November 4, please vote to save our lives, our treasure and our sacred honor by demanding an end to this immoral war.

* You can check these facts.  See the "Sources and Calculations" page in the comments book (see below)


*"over 30,000 american wounded": see .  the names on the wall are only of the dead, and are taken from ,but their numbers match the official ones. 

*"against the will of its people": see  reporting several polls over a long time for the BBC, ABC and other.  This March's, for example, showed 72% of all Iraqis (including Kurds) oppose continued occupation and 61% think our forces make their country less secure.

*"smaller than California": See CIA Fact Book (you can google it) The CIA estimates Iraq's present population at 28,221,180.  California's in 2000 was over33,000,000 and has grown since.

*"didn't attack us": See The 9/11 Commission, at "A Pentagon Study of 600,000 Iraqi Documents Finds No Link Between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein." President Bush also acknowledged this:

"Q What did Iraq have to do with that? THE PRESIDENT: What did Iraq have to do with what?
Q The attack on the World Trade Center? THE PRESIDENT: What did Iraq have to do with what?
Q The attack on the World Trade Center? THE PRESIDENT: Nothing except for it' part of --and nobody has ever suggested in this administration that Saddam Hussein ordered the attack.  Iraq was a--the lesson of September the 11th is, take threats before they fully materialize, Ken.  Nobody has even suggested that the attacks of September the 11th were ordered by Iraq."  See  

*"starting with our own,in 1776": see the Declaration of Independence

*"We were so menaced on 9/11 but not by Iraq."  See "didn't attack us", above

*Over 87,000 Iraqi civilians": See This is a very conservative number.  Most estimates are much higher, but doesn not do estimates at all.  It only counts verifiable violent deaths of noncombatants that are reported in the press or official reports, and cross checks those.

*"per capita, our war has killed more Iraqi civilians every week for five years than we lost on 9/11."  Here's the calculation:  On the five-year anniversary of our attack, March 20, 2008, the numbers were: The U.S. population was 301.139,947 (source CIA factbook).  2998 people (including military but not the terrorists) died in the 9/11 attacks (source Wikipedia), or .000996% of our population.
Iraq's population was 27,499,638 (source CIA factbook). (Those population numbers have grown slightly since then, in both countries).  At that time, iraqbodycount had counted 81,874 Iraqi civilians killed.  that's .2977% of their population.  Divide that by 5 years  and again by 52 weeks per year and you bet .001145%, a greater per capita loss each week that we suffered on 9/11.  Since March 18, over 5,000 more civilians have been killed, so if you repeat the math using today's numbers you'll find we have now inflicted a 9/11 a week for nearly 5 and a half year.

*"victory...John McCain": See
where Senator McCain clarifies his "100 years" in Iraq statements to the effect that he would be in favor of continuing to occupy Iraq that long, though he does not favor 100 years of American losses.  See also Senator McCain's web site,

*"our lives, our treasure and our sacred honor": See the Declaration of Independence.

The Project

My husband Bob, who is an artist, a poet, a veteran, a registered Republican and something of a nut, decided last spring that he wanted to create something that would express his deep feelings about the Iraq war. Starting in August he began to write, with a black sharpie, the names of the more than 4,000 soldiers who were killed in the war. He pasted the names written on wallpaper liner to the wall in front of our house which faces the Pacific ocean and a busy pedestrian walk. Above the list he wrote: "These Are the Brave Men and Women Our Government Sent to Die in Iraq." It took about a month to complete the project and he added a statement at the end of the list. As more die he adds their names to the list.

He placed a spiral notebook near the project and urged people to write down their reactions and thoughts. Passing walkers from several countries and varied political persuasions have left dozens of their ideas in the notebook.

I have created this blog (at the suggestion of our daughter) to record both Bob's project and the comments of the people who have seen it. I will copy the comments from the notebook and post them on this blog.