High the hill

The Lafayette hillside memorial is a collection of religious symbols, accompanied by a large sign, in Lafayette, California. The memorial commemorates soldiers killed in the Iraq War and War in Afghanistan, with the sign containing a running total of the death count as recorded by the US Department of Defense. The monument began to raise controversy in November 2006.

No one imagined the number of crosses growing to 8000 and beyond, the hill of bodies growing higher and higher.

Many of the placed items have now grown old, rotted and weathered, but nonetheless powerful symbols of love, and remembrance. 

The hillside was owned by 81-year-old Louise Clark, widow of Johnson Clark, until she died. Johnson Clark was a local developer and World War II veteran. The monument was erected in late 2006 by Jeffrey Heaton, a long-time anti-war protestor, and Louise Clark. Their first 19 crosses were quickly removed by vandals. 

In November 2006 the number of crosses, mixed with Stars of David, Islamic crescents, and other religious symbols, had passed 2,500.