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Graffiti in an urban setting is an understandable form of expression, but when this most primitive form of human communication is practiced on rocks in public parks, you have to wonder at the sheer audacity of the artist to proclaim himself or herself in such a public manner on edifices that have an austere and stately grandeur that is innocent of human concerns. Our simple human problems will be long gone while those rocks continue to stand up to time.
For someone to deface those rocks with mere mortal thoughts is a comment on our human superiority complex, but rock beats human flesh every time.
Perhaps most audacious of all rock artists are those who proclaim their love, implying with their rock desecration that their love will stand the test of time and is worthy of being declared in such a manner.
Well M and K, has the love you proclaimed on a rock at Brighton Beach a year ago stood the test of time?
Or is this a case of wishful thinking on the part of M or K?
Enquiring minds want to know.
If M and/or K will contact The Reader and let us know how things are going in the romance department, we promise not to reveal their true identities, just in case the city’s Rock Defacing Dept. would like to punish them. M and/or K, if you are reading this, let us know if your love was true and enduring, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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On Sept. 1, 1950, Corporal Francis Joseph Rochon, 21, of Foxboro, Wis., was a member of Company C, 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, stationed in Korea. He was reported Missing In Action when his unit’s position along the Naktong River near Changyong, Korea, was overrun by forces of the North Korean People’s Army. Cpl.
Rochon was never reported to be a prisoner of war. He and his unit had been in Korea for less than a month when he went missing.
On July 9 of this year, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced that Rochon had been accounted for on June 18.
After being reported missing in action on Sept. 1, 1950, the Army officially declared him dead on Dec. 31, 1953, and declared his remains non-recoverable Jan. 16, 1956.
In January 1951, the American Graves Registration Service Group consolidated the remains from 12 smaller military cemeteries at the newly established United Nations Military Cemetery in Tanggok, South Korea, including one set of remains designated X-175 Tanggok, which had been recovered from the area where Rochon was last seen.
In 1956, the remains, including X-175 Tanggok, were unable to be identified, and then transported to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, also known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu, where they were buried as Unknowns. DPAA historians and analysts were able to determine that others buried in the same original, small cemetery as X-175 Tanggok had been lost in the same area as Rochon, and put forth his name as a possible match. The family of another soldier lost during the same battle as Rochon also put in a request to have X-175 Tanggok and one other Unknown disinterred in hopes one of them would be their loved one.
On Nov. 5, 2018, X-175 Tanggok was disinterred and sent to the DPAA Laboratory at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
To identify Rochon’s remains, scientists from DPAA used anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.
Rochon’s name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the Punchbowl, along with the others who are still missing from the Korean War. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.
Rochon will be buried Saturday, July 25, in Foxboro, Wisconsin. He was born April 4, 1929, in Superior, the son of Francis M. and Mary (Prohuska) Rochon.
Survivors include his sisters, Patricia Winter, Superior, Marian (George) Klein, Superior, and Margaret (Harry) Rasmussen, Minong; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Visitation will be from 10 until the 11 a.m. service, Saturday, July 25, 2020 at Downs Funeral Home, 1617 N. 19th Street, Superior.
Burial with military honors will be at the Summit Cemetery, Foxboro.
Should friends desire, memorials may be made to the donor’s choice.
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With the mandatory mask order, the first instinct is to be a wiseass about it.
How about a rictus grin mask, as popularized by Batman nemesis The Joker, but stolen from Conrad Veidt (pictured), who starred in the 1928 German Expressionist film The Man Who Laughs, remade in 1961 by schlockmeister William Castle as Mr. Sardonicus?
Or a yellowed- and buck-toothed beaver?
Cletus the slack-jawed yokel?
A big mouthful of green, plaquey teeth?
No teeth? Just a fleshy, gaping maw.
A constant frown?
A Trumpian sneer?
Pursed church lady lips?
Perhaps a mask with a giant silicon butt-chin ala Dudley DoRight?
A cigar or cigarette constantly dangling from the mask lips?
So many options to offend. I’ve only scratched the surface here.
Or maybe I’ll knit my facial orifices together with colorful yarns when I venture into the great unwashed public. It’ll become huge, bigger than tattoos and piercings.
Everyone will want their facial orifices yarned up.
It’s never easy being a trendsetter.