I work on a number of journals here, journals covering diverse topics, and the variety is really interesting. Some articles stick with me for a long time.
Yesterday I had an e-mail from Linda Pershing, and though her article on Carlos Arredondo and his memorial to his son was published in Journal of American Folklore almost two years ago, I remembered the facts of the story central to her research so clearly.
Carlos Arredondo’s son, Alex, was a Marine who was killed while serving in Iraq in 2004. His father’s grief was immense, immediate, and shocking; his reaction made national headlines. Carlos found an outlet in creating a portable memorial to his son and in protesting the war.
Linda Pershing’s message yesterday brought news of Alex’s younger brother’s death this week. Brian Arredondo committed suicide. Peace activist Cindy Sheehan issued a statement with more information.
I’m grateful for Linda’s work, which brought this family’s sad but not uncommon plight to my attention. May peace be with them.
Linda Pershing’s article about Carlos Arredondo and his mobile memorial appeared in Journal of American Folklore vol. 123, no. 488 (Spring 2010) and is available in Project Muse and JSTOR. Carlos Arredondo has been profiled by various media, including New York Times, CNN, and Democracy Now!.