Crosses cause controversy in Napa

February 6, 2008 8:45:57 PM PST
Some people in Napa have chosen to use their front yards for a statement about the war -- in the form of a cross.

Dozens of homeowners are expressing their sentiments by displaying small white crosses in front of their homes.

The white crosses in Napa are a powerful symbol and a quiet demonstration against the Iraq war.

"This represents all the terrible waste of life in Iraq," said John Stephens from Napa.

John Stephens and a loose-knit Napa anti-war group are behind the crosses. They've made 240 of them -- 81 are now displayed in Napa yards, another 120 or so have ended up across the state.

He says they are not intended as a religious symbol, but as a universal symbol of grave-markers.

Elaine Herrick has one in her front yard.

"They're thinking about the soldiers that are dying in Iraq, the families that are losing their young men and women, don't want to forget that," said Elaine Herrick.

Abdi Humphries has one at his house, even though his brother is in the U.S. Navy and has been to Iraq three times.

"He's doing his part, we support the troops," said Humphries.

Catherine Moy is executive director of Move America Forward, a self-described non-partisan group dedicated to supporting the troops. She says the soldiers in Iraq don't like these kinds of displays.

"I think it's really inappropriate. It's a painful sign to gold star parents or parents who've lost children to the war," Catherine Moy from Move America Forward.

"The best way to support the troops is bring them home safe here," said Stephens.

"We should be supporting them by doing what they want and they want to win and then come home," said Moy.

Stephens plans to continue making and giving away crosses as long as people continue to ask for them.

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    To learn more about the controversial memorial in Napa, read The Back Story.