John Cotter the Writer

I don’t sign my name Jr.,–& haven’t for years — largely because I have been confident there will be no professional confusion. My dad, also a John Cotter (as was dad’s Uncle Nick, and his dad, and his) is a Connecticut lawyer. But he’s of course a writer too, as I’m reminded via his Memorial Day piece for the Norwich Bulletin, Knowledge will Debunk Deep Seated Assumptions, about the history of French-American military relations in Southeast Asia.

I stopped and took some snapshots. The cemetery was vast and poorly maintained. But I was struck with the mixture of Christian crosses on rows of tombstones along with Islamic half moons. Ethnic, multi-national soldiers buried together in a common gave site.

Intrigued, I began researching the origins of the site, which had a haunting quality — no people, no flower boxes, no flags…

Amazingly, the only comment on the article so far seems to be from someone who one hundred percent missed the point of John Sr.’s piece — which is hard to do! That dude aside, it’s an article well worth reading. Thanks for writing it, Dad. Happy Memorial Day.

photo: John Cotter Sr.


NB: see also the Boston Globe’s recent Photo Essay: Vietnam, 35 Years Later:

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