SCRANTON, Pa. -- Every March 23rd, Vietnam veteran Joe Silvestri of Delaware County makes his way to a grave site in Cathedral Cemetery in Scranton to relive one of his life' worst moments.
It's the day he was wounded in Vietnam and his friend of only three months, LCPL James Reddington of Scranton, was killed.
"He died because of his loyalty to me, because he thought I was dead. It made him very angry and he charged the enemy. I wish I had never known that," Silvestri said.
While there's a lot of pain, there's also a lot of laughter at the graveside ceremony each year as Reddington's fellow Marines, family, and Scranton friends share stories.
"He was a spunky, young man, loved sports, always doing something, if you will. And just a good kid," remembered Reddington's first cousin Joan Royce of Hamlin.
It provides a type of therapy you won't find anywhere else.
Lorraine Pacheco of Scranton is there every year, and most Sundays, when she decorates Reddington's tombstone. The 19-year-old, she said, was the love of her life.
"We started dating on and off through junior and senior year. I`m sure there were a lot of other girls who were dating him, too. But, he was my one and only, still is," Pacheco said.
While Jimmy will forever be 19, many of his friends are in their seventies and they plan to do this as long as they're able.
"We have an obligation to be here, not just to Jimmy, but also to think of the other guys who were killed. Not just on that day," Silvestri added.