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Monday, May 30, 2016


It is Memorial Day.  Can there be more than one moment?  I don't think so.

After a busy weekend of good eating (best effing hot dog of my life; not that I eat a lot of hotdogs mind you), friends and family,
Monday was a day of reflection.  A Memorial Day ritual of mine is to go to the Civil War and the Vietnam War sections at Pine Grove Cemetery.  My visit to the Civil War section became a little frantic today when I couldn't find the grave of my great grandfather Charles H. Pendexter.  Ultimately, I did find it but not without a frantic facebook shout out and not without getting soaked in the rain.  I was soaked to the point where I thought my phone was died...problem was I wasn't wearing my glasses. 

There was another gentleman visiting his relative...and we talked a little civil war and family history.  He even reflected on the fact that the males in his family had all served in the military; he had not.  He said it was around the time of the Vietnam War and it was his biggest regret...

Photos from the Civil War section of Pine Grove Cemetery...

The great uncle of the gentleman I
chatted with today.

This character is Charles H. Pendexter.  My Dad is Charles W. Pendexter.  I am not sure if I've ever told the story as to how I came across this photograph.  The picture is in the Great Hall of the Grand Army of the Republic Building in downtown Lynn, MA.  I was visiting one day and the caretaker of the building helped me find his photo.  He mentioned that they had found some glass negatives.  CHP was one of the negatives.     

The Vietnam section of the cemetery is emotional.  I remember the war as a young child. 

Vivid pictures on TV. 
Bombs and hatred. 
Emotional scarred men returning from the jungles of a foreign land.   
Men returning to their country only to be rejected and spit on. 

There are always people at these gravesites.  I do not take pictures.  It is very much a time of reflection.  It is a time to be respectful of loss.   

We send our young men and women to war.  Some come home and some do not.  When we make the decision, we need to be very sure it is the correct one.  We need to be very sure that there is not an alternative to war.  Some of these men and women do not return home to their families.  Anguish, pain, and lives lost.

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