“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.
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 suicide.
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.
Honoring Brian Arredondo
Brian Arredondo’s wakewill be held Tuesday, December 27, 4 to 9 pm, Mann and Rodgers Funeral Home, 44 Perkins St, Jamaica Plain.
A funeral mass will be held Wednesday, December 28, at 10am, 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.