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Author Talk with J. Eric Smith: Side by Side in Eternity In-Person

Celebrate Veterans Day by joining us for a presentation by J. Eric Smith, author of Side by Side in Eternity: The Lives Behind Adjacent American Military Graves.
Every gravestone in every graveyard can frame a story far more complex than the dates engraved upon it. It's common for spouses to be memorialized together as a final affirmation of the commitments made in life, or for bereaved parents to be buried with children who tragically preceded them in death. Close proximity burials of seemingly unrelated figures can similarly reveal the tales of people who otherwise walked together in life, by choice or by chance.
For example, the Confederate burial of Union Col. Robert Gould Shaw was certainly meant as a dishonor as Shaw was buried in an unmarked, low-lying coastal trench alongside the fallen African American members of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment he had commanded at Fort Wagner. After the war, however, the men's remains were recovered and reinterred--meaningfully, still together--at the newly commissioned Beaufort National Cemetery.
Smith's book explores a dozen unique examples of such side-by-side burials over the course of U.S. history, describing each of the protagonists' final chapters before spooling out the tales and significance of their journey to such interwoven endpoints. The evolution of funerary practices and observances in the United States is interspersed throughout, with a special focus on military honors and burials.

J. Eric Smith is a long-time freelance writer with well over 1,000 print bylines in a variety of alternative newsweeklies, industry trade magazines, newspapers, and nonprofit organizational newsletters and periodicals. He is an alumnus of the United States Naval Academy and the State University of New York at Albany. After eleven years of service with the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, he transitioned into the nonprofit sector, eventually holding four CEO positions, while maintaining an active freelance writing and advisory career.

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Wednesday, November 8, 2023
6:00pm - 7:00pm
Time Zone:
Arizona Time (change)
Downtown Library Community Room (Capacity 41)
Downtown Library
  Adults     Seniors  
  Book Discussions and Author Talks     Lectures and Presentations  
Registration has closed.

Event Organizer

Mary Corcoran

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