SCRANTON — This holiday weekend is all about remembering the men and women who served this country at times of peace, and times of war.
In Scranton Saturday, a tradition of remembrance continued for a Marine who was killed in Vietnam.
Cathedral Cemetery in Scranton is the resting place for veterans from all eras.
And on Saturday, the grave of Lance Corporal James T. Reddington was the focus for this group some who knew Reddington and some who idolized him.
“He was a kid who grew up in my neighborhood, he was six years older than md, and was my hero growing up,” said Charlie Boylan of Scranton.
Boylan was there in 2008 for the first ceremony of this kind to honor the sacrifice Reddington made all those years ago in Vietnam.
But before him Reddington’s fellow marines were coming here paying their respects.
“I had no idea where he was buried at first. I found his grave in 1994. I kept coming up because I felt I had an obligation to do that for my friend,” said Joe Silvestri a fellow Marine.
Most of all, Silvestri remembers James Reddington as a good Marine – someone who would do anything for anybody.
Reddington was killed in 1967 when he charged the enemy reacting to a false report that Silvestri died in an attack.
“I never knew that until May of 2001. And it felt like a train just hit me,” said Silvestri.
Reddington’s comrades come each year. Some from as far away as Florida and Texas. Even though it was difficult, painful even for Joe Moss to be here, he said it’s a rare thing to see anyone honoring someone who fought and died in Vietnam.
“It’s been tough to fully examine that again and go through that,” said Moss of Texas.
“The Marines, that’s just the camaraderie that those guys have,” said Boylan.
Charlie Boylan, who organized the ceremony, spent six months tracking down Reddington’s fellow Marines.
That was five years ago, and now the ceremony is an annual tradition on Memorial Day weekend.