Lafayette Tribute to Fallen Soliders Could See a Facelift

Hillside filled with crosses could eventually change its look

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Jeff Heaton walks through the crosses on this Lafayette hillside and remembers what they meant in 2003 when he started all this. The message hasn't changed 10 years later. Terry McSweeney reports. (Published Tuesday, Mar 19, 2013)

    Jeff Heaton walks through the crosses on this Lafayette hillside and remembers  what they meant in 2003 when he started all this.

    The message hasn't changed 10 years later.

    "I thought it was important to have some sort of public Demonstration so people could share in their grief and get a better idea of the real cost of the war," Heaton said.

    The plan all along was to remove the crosses when the wars ended. With the Iraq war officially over and the Afghanistan war winding down Heaton has a new idea for this property --something for soldiers who make it home alive.

    "Ultimately we could try to get permission to have veterans housing here which I think would be a fantastic use of the land," he said. "Most people think it's crazy and it should go to Tracy or Stockton or somewhere like that. But why not  here?"

    Some see the hillside as an eyesore; others see something else.

    Like Peter Read of Lafayette.

    "It reminds me of the sacrifice people have had (when I look) up there," he said."My nephew lost a leg in Afghanistan. He's recovering well, But I think of him also."

    Bashar Anso was born in Baghdad. He is proud to be an American and when he sees the crosses, he thinks about two things.

    "When they started going up I felt pretty sad for the people that were dying as a result of a war that I think was predominantly created for the purposes of oil really."

    Heaton says his goal is to honor the troops through action.

    "They've given their all for us and its up to Us to make sure we don't have any more wars or in my opinion unnecessary wars."