Monday, September 17, 2007

Gold Star Father Beaten by Gathering of Eagles

Monday, September 17th, 2007
Gold Star Father Kicked Defending Dead Son's Memorial Mélida Arredondo

Mélida Arredondo is the stepmother of Lance Cpl. Alexander S. Arredondo, killed in Iraq, Aug. 25, 2004.

Carlos Arredondo, 47 year old father of two sons, arrived in the nation's capitol on Monday, 09/10/07 to share a memorial he has made to honor for his eldest son, Alex. Carlos has visited thirty of the United States with the traveling memorial to his son Alexander. Lcpl. Alexander S. Arredondo, USMC was killed on 08/25/04. He was 20 years and 20 days old. The memorial consists of a casket, poster- size photographs of Alex when he graduated from boot camp, before his second tour in Iraq, lying in state at his wake, and a photo of Alex with his younger brother Brian.

Saturday, September 15, 2007 consisted of first a rally, a march towards the capitol and then a die-in. Carlos pulled the memorial along the march route approaching the rotunda near the capitol building. Several of the marchers requested for him to speak about the memorial where a crowd gathered around him. After finishing, several people walked with Carlos as he pulled the memorial. Several pictures of Alex dressed in his blues were attached to the display.

As Carlos passed counter protesters, one man ripped a picture of Alex from the memorial. Carlos leaped on the man to retrieve the picture. It was at that point that approximately five others all began to attack Carlos by kicking him in the head, legs, stomach and back.

The Capitol police bicycle patrol then appeared to break up the fight. Several officers including a female officer were engaged in breaking up the fight and were able to stop any further injuries from occurring. Hannah Jones who was walking with Carlos was also assaulted.

A bystander named Ramesh witnessed the whole encounter and also retrieved the picture of Alex for Carlos. He was quite distressed at how he watched the men yelling epithets follow Carlos as he pulled the memorial, and eventually take Alex's photograph. Soon, an ambulance showed up as well as many concerned activists. The paramedics provided first aid to Carlos but he did not seek further medical attention. Carlos sustained bloody cuts on his shins. He also reported bruises all over his torso and head where he was kicked.

I will send updates on Carlos and his work in DC as I am able.

Mélida Arredondo,
Remembering Alex Arredondo and all those
who died too young at war to aid the Iraqi people
and his own nation, the USA,
and while protecting his buddies...
08/05/84 - 08/25/04

1 comment:

Dilly said...

Really good job, Mary, and excellent reporting, too. Thank you