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.


marine, death, modern, colouring, vietnam, cemetery, honour, selective, us1, united states, memorial day

I’m a “scatter-focus” artist. ANYTHING may be here or roundabout my galleries. Expect nothing anywhere and you’ll always be OK. ;-)

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  • jansnow
    jansnowabout 6 years ago

    This is truly a wonderful tribute, thank you for honoring a fallen soldier.

  • Thank you, jansnow. As always with a piece such as this, there’s a distinct possibility of creating a very testy response from some people and many of those responses are fully understandable. But for this one soldier in this one cemetery, I feel honoured to have an opportunity to honour him and his beloved family.

    – Lenny La Rue, IPA

  • solareclips~Julie  Alexander
    solareclips~Ju...about 6 years ago

    I am moved to tears at the sensitivity that you show for our fallen heros!! Well done my friend!

  • Thank you, solareclips. I do everything in my power to show individual respect for those who have served my country (i.e. served ME) regardless of politics and ‘common sentiment’. But this man died for me in another way as well: I had my draft card and was going to be sent to Vietnam when the war ended.

    – Lenny La Rue, IPA

  • solareclips~Julie  Alexander
    solareclips~Ju...about 6 years ago

    Well, I for one am thankful for all that they do for us, and the freedoms that they help to protect! I am also thankful for their families that give up so much so that these men do what they so bravely do! Glad that you didn’t have to go…… we might not be chatting about this now……

  • Oh so true, honey.

    – Lenny La Rue, IPA

  • E.R. Bazor
    E.R. Bazoralmost 5 years ago

    Northern California Style wishes to honor the memory of PVT Jose Rolando Rios.
    Thank you for the service you gave to your country.

  • E.R. Bazor
    E.R. Bazorover 4 years ago

    In Honor of all those who served.
    “The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender, or submission.”
    John F. Kennedy

  • I thank you, sir. :-)

    – Lenny La Rue, IPA

  • ginabgood1
    ginabgood1over 4 years ago

    What a wonderful tribute along with your words that accompany it. May peace cover this planet soon so that no more will lose their lives.

  • Thank you very much. May your prayer become true to our lives. :-)

    – Lenny La Rue, IPA

  • NoahC
    NoahCover 4 years ago

    Congratulations on being Featured:

  • Lenny La Rue, IPA
    Lenny La Rue, IPAover 4 years ago

    Thank you very much for such recognition during Memorial Day.

  • Chelei
    Cheleiover 3 years ago

    Hey Lenny – Would you please consider entering this piece of art into the Just Fun Group so you can enter the Memorial Day Challenge?!

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