[act-ma] [UJP] Brian Arredondo, R.I.P.
United for Justice with Peace
info at justicewithpeace.org
Sat Dec 24 01:15:03 PST 2011
UJP: Brian Arredondo, R.I.P.
BRIAN ARREDONDO, R.I.P.
\"He Suffered So Much\"
May 10, 1987 to December 19, 2011
by Cindy Sheehan
Brian Arredondo was 17 when his 20 year-old brother, Alex, a U.S. Marine, was
killed in Iraq on 25 August, 2004. He was 24 this past Monday, 19 December,
when he took his own life.
Honoring Brian Arredondo
Brian Arredondo's wake will be held Tuesday, December 27, 4 to 9 pm, at the Mann
and Rodgers Funeral Home, 44 Perkins St, Jamaica Plain.
A funeral mass will be held Wednesday, December 28, 10am, at St. Thomas Aquinas
Parish, 97 South St., Jamaica Plain.
The funeral mass will be followed by a procession and interment at Rural
Cemetery at intersection of Pemberton and North Streets, Walpole. Brian will be
laid to rest next to his brother Alexander.
The peace movement will sponsor a reception after the interment, 3pm-6pm, at
First Church in Jamaica Plain (Unitarian-Universalist), 6 Eliot St. The church
was the scene of the candle-light vigil the night after Brian's death, and its
lawn is home to Camp Alex, a display of antiwar messages created by Carlos
Arredondo. Members of the peace movement are requested to bring food to the
reception or donate money towards refreshments.
If you are in position to do so, please send a donation to help cover funeral
expenses to: Brian Arredondo Memorial Fund, c/o The Cooperative Bank, 40
Belgrade Avenue, Roslindale, MA 02131.
Carlos Arredondo, the father of Alex and Brian, his only children, was so
distraught when the Marines came to tell him that his oldest son was killed, he
caught their van and himself on fire, burning over 26% of his body. His recovery
from his physical wounds was long and difficult, but his emotional wounds from
having his son killed by the U.S. government in its illegal and immoral war in
Iraq will never completely heal. However, I know since my son, Casey, was killed
in Iraq only four months before Alex, that Carlos was beginning to be able to
get through his days without overwhelming pain before his other son committed
Carlos, and his wife, Melida (stepmother to the boys) are part of our Camp Casey
family and the wider peace movement. Carlos credits Camp Casey with giving him
his “voice” to be able to speak for Alex and against the war that took his
life. When we held our Camp Casey gatherings, Carlos would always be there with
his rolling monument to his son, Alex, and he would often be the first one to
get up in the morning and the last one to go to bed—he was always working and
there for me when I needed a bottle of water, a plate of food, or a hug.
However, Carlos could always take a break to talk to a visitor to make him/her
feel welcome, and share his son’s story.
Carlos and Melida are wonderful people who have sacrificed much for peace—and
even though I wouldn’t wish this kind of pain on anybody—they did not
deserve to bury even one son, let alone two.
When I spoke to the Arredondos on the phone today, Carlos told me that Brian,
“suffered so much,” from the death of his brother, and it’s so sad that
siblings are often forgotten in the heartache of loss. Brian’s suffering has
now ended, but his family’s and other loved ones has just begun. It’s often
said that what doesn’t kill a person makes him/her “stronger,” and
although that saying is annoying, it’s true. I know Carlos and Melida have
incredible strength and I have found depths of strength that I never knew I had
since I have a daily survival struggle from the tragic death of my son. Sadly,
Brian could never fully recover and was recently told by mental health
professionals that "nothing was wrong" with him—he tragically fell through the
cracks as so many in our dispassionate society often do.
Besides the fact that I adore the Arredondos and know about the struggle they
have had with Brian over the years, this terrible news highlights the glaring
truth that, even though wars may end (and I dispute that the war on Iraq has
even ended), for some people, the tragedy and pain never will be over.
I am profoundly sorry for the pain of our losses, but war does terrible things
to people. It doesn’t matter if a person supports war, or doesn’t, it’s
undeniable that war causes everlasting pain and irreparable damage.
The President and Vice President of the U.S. may be celebrating the “end” of
the Iraq War, but on Monday, December 19, 2011, that war of choice for profit
claimed another innocent victim: handsome, sensitive, and compassionate,
beautiful soul, Brian Arredondo.
How many more will suffer? The country of Iraq is spoiled with depleted uranium
and babies are being born with birth defects and children are dying from
leukemia and other war-related illnesses every day, still. How many years will
it take the Iraqi people to recover from the decades’ long devastation the
U.S. has caused?
How many of our veterans will commit suicide, or die from long, painful deaths
from DU poisoning, emotional scars, or other wounds?
Wars never truly end, so the best thing to do is never allow them to begin in
the first place.
United for Justice with Peace  is a coalition of peace and justice
organizations and community peace groups in the Greater Boston region. The UJP
Coalition, formed after September 11th, seeks global peace through social and
Help us continue to do this critical work! Make a donation to UJP today. 
info at justicewithpeace.org 
Funeral Service, Interment and Reception for Brian Arredondo 
Wed Dec 28
St Thomas Aquinas Parish
First Night Against the War 
Sat Dec 31
25% Coalition Meeting 
Sat Jan 7
First Church in Cambridge, Congregational
Massachusetts Peace Action Annual Meeting 
Sat Jan 28
First Baptist Church
Massachusetts Jobs with Justice 20th Anniversary Dinner 
Thu Mar 15
Retire NATO, Create Jobs & Fund Peace 
Fri May 18
More Peace and Justice Events . How to Submit Events 
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