TORRINGTON – A small sign adorned with doves, a heart and cross that reads “Peace to all who enter” hangs upon the front door to Cindy Cochran’s home along Main Street in Torrington. But it’s other, larger displays on the property that the house – and Cochran – have become
From a white-haired, bespectacled Bernie Sanders hovering above the words “Defend the sacred” to stark, black-and-white lettering demanding “No Nazis, No KKK, No Fascist USA” on the roof, to a small rainbow flag fluttering above Cochran’s garage door – she said the signs are her way of taking a stand against injustice.
“The signs were all put up at different times, but it’s all one continuum of what’s happening in this country – the direction this country is headed,” Cochran said. “Why did I put them up? Because I’m a Christian, and I feel like I must stand up to injustice. The question is not, ‘Why am I doing it?’ it’s ‘Why aren’t more of us
Cochran said her ultimate goal in creating the signs is to raise awareness and start a dialogue regarding ongoing issues in the U.S.
“We need to ask ourselves, ‘Am I part of the problem or part of the solution?’” she said. “There’s some disconnect here (in Goshen County), because a lot of the things that are happening are not happening here. Injustice to one person is injustice to everybody. If people think it’s not going to spread to this area, it is.”
Due to the striking size, color and placement of the signs, Cochran has received a significant amount of attention – both positive and negative – for her views. But she said she prefers to focus on the people who have encouraged and commended her along the way.
“Sometimes you can feel like a one-man army,” Cochran said. “Opposing views can be intimidating to people … but since I’ve done this, I’ve received support from lots of people. Perfect strangers stop, come to my home and tell me how much they appreciate that (the signs) are there, that I’m speaking out, and how hard it is for them to speak out.”
Specifically, Cochran recalled a young man who informed her he drives past her house when he feels sad to look at the Bernie Sanders painting; an anonymous note during the eclipse titled, “Love Wins” thanking her for her signs; and a grateful, emotional young woman who presented her with the rainbow flag that now hangs on her garage.
“That’s how I know I’m doing the right thing,” Cochran said.
Touting love, peace and justice, Cochran added one of her personal goals in life is to end racism.
“It’s not about me or the signs, it’s the realization if this encourages people to find their voices,” Cochran said. “I’ll put up 12 more signs if I have to.”