Wednesday, November 11, 2009
A Veterans' Day visit
Accompanied by Nuala, I visited Claiborne Pell's grave this morning to see his stone, newly erected. Nuala shared some recollections at the cemetery, and on the drive there and back to Pelican Ledge. I always enjoy her company, and always insightful and often humorous observations and reflections.
It is, of course, Veterans' Day, and Pell was a veteran of World War II and the Coast Guard, which he joined in 1941 -- and in which he remained, on active and then reserve status, until mandatory retirement at the age of 60. He was a captain when he retired, well into his Senate career.
Julie and Bertie, two of the Pells' two children, are buried with Claiborne. And not far away, Nuala's mother, and Claiborne's mother and stepfather, lie in rest.
-- Claiborne's stone. The second white stone in the distance is that of Nuala's father, Ollie O'Donnell.
-- Facing the church, the back of Claiborne's stone. Julie and Bertie's stones are just beyond.
-- Not far away, the graves of Matilda, Claiborne's mother; Cmdr. Hugo W. Koehler, Matilda's husband and Claiborne's stepfather; and Hugo "Hughie" Koehler, Matilda and the commander's only child, Claiborne's half brother.
On my way back. I stopped by another grave, that of Eileen Slocum, another prominent Newporter and friend of the Pells. Eileen is the central character in my documentary BEHIND THE HEDGEROW.