There are numerous sections of The Sacramento (California, United States) Old City Cemetery that are dedicated to those who served in various wars throughout America’s history. But there are a few that are notably missing from the ‘proper’ section. There’s wasn’t a section for Vietnam era soldiers as far as I could see. Whether it eluded me in the heat of that day or it’s truly absent, the above monument stood alone in a very shady spot upon a hill – the highest point in the cemetery.
PVT Rios’ gravesite was in an area where most of the sites are well-maintained and it showed. His was also a site where the family had recently visited and placed fresh flowers and personal articles there.
In my series of photography from cemeteries, I attempted to do two obvious things to show the difference between honouring the dead and selling my personal art: none of these shots are for sale where a person’s name is mentioned, and; all the shots are either monochromatic or black and white. But I felt PVT Rios’ gravesite needed to be singled out in another manner, tho I’m not sure why. The selective colouring on his grave somehow brings his persona into the present and leaves his body in the past for me.
I salute you, PVT Rios.
This piece was featured in The Northern California Style Group: "the Northern California Style Group wishes to honor the memory of PVT Jose Rolando Rios.
Thank you for the service you gave to your country."
It was also featured on Memorial Day 2010 by the Western United States Artists and Photographers group.