Lance Cpl. Edwin Marrero, U.S.M.C., your past beckons.
Two battered photo albums testify to the South Bronx life you put on hold when you shipped off to Vietnam as a teenage jarhead in 1969. Carmen vows, on the back of the prints, that she misses and needs you. Martha, primly friendly, sends her love. You look downright suave at a club with another girl, drinks on the table and cigarette in hand. And there are your relatives, getting goofy at home while you were slogging through rice paddies.
Forty years ago, in Vietnam, you gave these albums to Mike Torres, a fellow Marine from Jersey City, when your own duffel bag was too full to make the trip back to the Bronx. Mike came home a few weeks later. But for reasons he never fully explained to his wife, Olga, he was never able to locate you to give them back. Mike died last June.
Now, Olga wants you to have them.
A Marine lives by the motto Semper Fidelis, always faithful. So does Ms. Torres. She has made it her mission to find Mr. Marrero or his children, and return the albums that kept his family close to his heart during the war.
These keepsakes harken to an era when the family picture album was an archive of personal history pieced together moment by moment. Their scenes were not untouchable pixels on a screen, but cherished talismans tucked in helmets and wallets or stashed under a pillow. And each was a unique chronicle as real as the people pictured.
The snapshots are as dated as the books that protected them, little squares of faded color, tucked between sticky yellow pages and clear plastic sheets. Their world is a lost one of Bronx tenements on Prospect Avenue, where a stove peeks out behind a plastic-slip covered chair. On the living room wall is a beveled-mirror curio cabinet and a photograph of J.F.K. No doubt if one looked hard enough, there would be evidence of a drawing of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, too.
Of course, there is the obligatory party shot, where cans of Schaefer beer are set out next to what looks like a near-empty bottle of Kola Champagne (a sickly-sweet soda that was bottled in the Bronx and tasted like liquid bubble gum).
There are pictures out in the wild — in Puerto Rico, where a ragtag group of kids and adults smile for an unseen photographer, and in Vietnam, where two young Marines talk to the locals. These images were never deleted. They took a beating and stayed safe — maybe like the young Marine who cherished them.
“These albums have traveled from the Bronx to ‘Nam to Jersey City to Illinois, and now they are here with me in Puerto Rico,” Ms. Torres said. “They have survived a house fire and two basement floods.” During both floods, she said, the first thing Mr. Torres always rescued were Mr. Marrero’s albums.
Since her husband’s death, Ms. Torres has started to search online for any leads, setting up pages on Facebook and MySpace where she posts some of the pictures she has scanned. Recently, her cousin Orlando, a genealogy buff, thought he had found Mr. Marrero. But he could only speak to the man’s wife. “If we don’t hear from him, I’m going to ask Orlando to give me the number and let me call,” Ms. Torres said. “I want to tell her: I got his photos, I have his pictures, I am sincere. I’m not a debt collector or a long lost love. I have no children of his. I just want to return the album.”
Family history is very important to remember. By knowing where you come from, you can have a knowledge of your family. Interviewing our family members is the best way to have a clear understanding of our family background. It allows you to appreciate your family history. After you interview your family,what you learn may influence So our roots and origin is one of the most important things to explore. It can bring me closer to myself discovery. What I can discover about the roots of my family is not likely to make headlines, but may build a family tree that can be both interesting and surprising.
Trying find out about a family history is a good way to learn something and grow from it. Good or bad, one thing is sure: we cannot change the past. One famous writer said”In all of us there is a hunger, marrow deep, to know our heritage—to know who we are and where we came from. Without this enriching knowledge, there is a hollow yearning. No matter what our attainments in life, there is still a vacuum, an emptiness, and the most disquieting loneliness. ” —Alex Haley This quote shows that finding our family origins and family history are very important. Sometimes,our family history can influence us.
So I interviewed my father and my sister. My father’s side of the family originally came from GUANG DONG China,in the south of China. There are 9 people they are my grand-parents;aunts;and my uncles. Although my father is from the south of China but his great-great-grandfather lived in the north of China . Because that time in China,there were too many wars ,people had to leave their home to other safe provinces. Other way to say this is originally of my family lived in two or three Chinese provinces. My grand-parents were our country’s soldiers and my great-grand parents were the soldiers too.
They all struggled for freedom and democracy! My father said he was proud he come from a military family. My grand father he lived through world war two and the new china war. He always if gave him one more choice to join the army or live like the normal,he would choose the army,because he loved the army too much! From GUANGDONG my father moved to SHENZHEN. because in 1978 China had just opened some coastal zones. SHENZHEN was a new city and there were many opportunities for my father. Form that time my father was a business man. My mother’s side of the family is all from HAINAN province.
I only know about my mother’s side history is my grand-parents had seven daughters. My mother met my father while they were both on the way to SHENZHEN city. In 1986 they had their first daughter,my oldest sister. But that time they were not living together ,my sister and my mom lived in my hometown,my father was in SHENZHEN. In 1990 my dad had his own company and at the same time my second sister was born. After that they moved to a new city and bought our first house in that new city. In 1995 is important to me because I was born that year. When I was born my family was very happy because my family only had one son.
We lived in ShenZhen for 16 years and we were very halcyon happy. In 2008 my father made a big decision to move to canada. The reason is my dad hoped his three children have a good future and could live in fair society country. 2012 we moved to canada and started a new life. I think moving to canada is a new literary piece in my family history. It will be magnificent! In conclusion,researching my family history I learned so many things . i have learned my family history is magnificent and impressive. I have to be hard-working and continue my magnificent family history in canada!