The Pentagon had its fingers crossed this week in hopes that a
scheduled test of a ground-based missile interception system didn’t
go awry, as has often occurred in the past. During the planned
test, an interceptor rocket was to be launched from Vandenberg Air
Force Base near Lompoc against a target missile launched from
Alaska’s Kodiak Island. However, military officials stressed that
the rocket was meant only to identify the target missile,
distinguish between its booster stage and warhead, and communicate
with controllers on the ground.

Arlington West organizers warn that without an influx of fresh
and reliable volunteers, their Sunday morning installations of
commemorative crosses for American troops killed in Iraq could soon
end. The increased number of war casualties – there were 2,616
crosses last Sunday – coupled with the deaths of three key
volunteers have taken a toll on the somber display, which started
at the base of Stearns Wharf three years ago. Organizers say it
takes two-and-a-half hours to erect the memorial and about two to
take it down.


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