Journal Entry for Sketch #8
May 4th- Two Persian War Dead
I make another visit to the grave of Brian M. Kennedy. There are now three small American flags placed on the grave near the tombstone. The flowers are gone. At the base of each flag is a placemat with the pole from the flag stuck through it, anchoring it in place. On the placemat is a quote from President George W. Bush:
“Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.”
Sept. 11, 2001
I also visit the twin graves of Jay T. Aubin and Thomas M. Adams again. There are fresh flowers on both sides of each gravestone. The Adams grave has grass germinating. The Aubin grave has instead the original sod replaced. A smaller American flag is also on the Aubin grave-the older of the two by one day.
Finally I drive to the other side of the cemetery where I am lead to the graves of two new Iraqi War dead, just buried.
US Marine Corps
KIADied at age 21.5 on 5th day of war
“beloved son and brother”
9/4/83-4/4/03Died at age 20.5 on 17th day of war
I see this is where I am to sketch today. As I sit down by these graves to start drawing, a white man and black woman arrive in a blue Chevy pickup. I assume they are here to mourn these dead since the black woman proceeds to put water in the flower vases by the new gravestones. But, as they talk I see that they are actually here to honor the dad of the white man buried elsewhere. The woman talks on and on, then she suddenly notices these graves are from the Iraq War. The man figures out the men were only in their early 20’s when they died. The woman next notices a small volunteer tomato plant growing near one of the graves probably sprouted from someone’s discarded lunch. She says she is amazed that the plant actually has tomatoes growing on it. She tells the man she could take tomatoes home and use their seeds to start new plants. They leave without the tomatoes.
I finish my sketch and also leave the seeds behind.