Arlington West

Every Sunday from dawn to dusk, a memorial is built on Santa Monica beach in Santa Monica, California, to honor the fallen soldiers of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

The memorial site is called Arlington West, and has been an undertaking put on by the Los Angeles chapter of the non-profit organization called Veterans for Peace.

Chapter president Michael Lindley has been volunteering his time every Sunday for past eight years, along with many other volunteers who come to honor the fallen soldiers.

“Students from Fairfax High School come and help us, and we have different speakers who come and talk to the kids,” Lindley said. “The students also get high school credits for volunteering.”

The memorial site on Santa Monica beach has been an on-going project for over ten years, and through the years the Veterans for Peace volunteers have created new information booths, and many interactive charts and statistic signage.

The volunteers work tirelessly to bring color and life into the memorial site by adding flowers and small trees to the rows of crosses. Visitors to the memorial are encouraged to ask questions, and pay tribute to their fallen family members and friends by creating memorials for them.

Kenny White is also a member of the L.A. chapter for Veterans for Peace, and has been volunteering at Arlington West for seven years.

“I was so moved by what I saw, the touching tributes from family members and friends, that I decided to stay, and I’ve been coming back every week,” White said.