RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) -- Abts, Richard. Adamski, Walter. Ahlman, Enoch.
The names are whisked away by the hot, gusting wind as soon as they are spoken, forgotten in the stream of the next name and the next name and the next name.
Fuller, Addison. Fuller, Mary. Furlong, John.
The story of America could be told through these names, tales of bravery and hesitation, of dreams achieved or deferred and of battles won and lost.
Taken alone, they are just words, identities stripped of place and time, stripped of rank and deeds and meaning.
But they are not taken alone. They are taken together - 148,000 names, representing the entire veteran population of Riverside National Cemetery, a roll call of the dead read aloud over 10 days by more than 300 volunteers.
They read in pairs, rotating through 15-minute shifts in the beating sun, in the chilly desert night and in the pre-dawn hours thick with mosquitoes.
Some time on Memorial Day, they will read the last name on the 2,465th page.
Some read for their country.
Others read for a father lost in battle or a beloved son cut down in his prime.
And one man reads for no one in particular - except, maybe, for himself. Read more at AP