At the Iraq Memorial Portal we strive to maintain a sort of Tom Joad-like internet omniscience. For any number of reasons, this is hard going in our considerations of "CC" -- or, as the library ladies around the Portal refer to him, Charles Clayton -- Persing.
Justin DeLacerda, 11, pedals past M&M Family Mart, where a sign memorializes Spc. Charles ‘C.C.’ Persing -- Brett Duke photo & caption posted 07/23/04 courtesy NOLA.com (New Orleans Times Picayune and ABC23TV)
On hearing themselves addressed by their full complement of given names, Southern boys especially are conditioned to expect a reprimand or rebuke. The connotation is of stern admonishment that they fully measure up to the character that family and extended family intended to embue when those names were conferred.
Often a Southern boy is fixing to be a young man or well into maturity before he hears spoken in the hyper-formality of such an address a demure tone of pride. A quiet but sure tone suggesting that he has in fact achieved that full character. Hears it spoken or perhaps feels it expressed in the stroke of wizened fingers on his cheek or in the warm grasp of a gnarled and calloused hand that accompanies so quaint a salutation.
Those of us involved in researching and publishing the Epitaphs at the Iraq Memorial Portal go through a lot of wrangling to construct a tribute to the fallen clear of political overtones and free of service branch/unit favoritism or geographic chauvinism.
Again this year, the hard wrangling for editorial balance pretty much went out the window on the "Iraq Daily Epitaphs -- July 19" when we got to Pfc. Persing (third posting, 2004).
Maybe next year we'll move the blatant editorializing to this blog where, arguably, it belongs. We hope you'll give us credit for utilizing footnotes at page bottom to suggest some of the personal thoughts and feelings we maintain for this soldier.
Meanwhile, the Portal is proud to stand behind it's introduction to you of Charles Clayton ("C.C.") Persing, a favorite son and as fine a young man as ever came out of cajun country.