Posted on 25 May 2013 by La Habra Journal
By Jay Seidel
La Habra Journal
It started out as a way to honor the fallen veterans and has become somewhat of a duty for Chuck Morse.
His “Gathering of the Crosses” has been displayed on the lawn of his La Habra home on Memorial Day for the last eight years. The presentation of the crosses is a tribute to the Orange County veterans who have fallen while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Two more crosses were added just this year, bringing the total to 74 crosses
Morse, along with Mike Cruth, a handyman and friend who lives in Whittier, created the 22-inch crosses by hand. They are painted white and prepared for placement in the yard.
Morse researches the details of the individuals including what city in Orange County they are from, their branch of the military, where and when they were serving when they killed and get a photo.
Morse says he continues to do this because “nobody else is doing it.” And he wants to ensure that people are aware of the sacrifices made by Orange County’s young men and women.
Over the years Morse has had hundreds of people come by his home to see the crosses. It still moves him when parents and family members of those who have fallen come to see the tribute.
“They come up and thank me for doing this and often ask if they can have the cross,” Morse explained. “I say, ‘Sure,’ and hand it to them. I can always make another one.”
Motivated by that, More is currently working with the Orange County Register to locate the various families so that he might send them all a cross.