From the collection of the National Park Service, National Mall and Memorial Parks.
Memorial assemblage dedicated to U.S. Army Private First Class (PFC) Francis Eugene Sanders and consisting of a handwritten note upon a segment of cardboard and twenty-seven (27) fully-wrapped, Garcia & Vega brand cigars. The assemblage is from a comrade of PFC Sanders, "SGT. J. KORNSEY", was left on the occasion of his birthday (June 12, 1996), and is donated in memory of the last cigar the two (2) men shared on the day PFC Sanders was killed in action (Christmas morning, December 25, 1967). According to the handwritten note, the cigars were intended to catch PFC Sanders up to SGT Kornsey for all the Christmas mornings he had missed since his death in Vietnam. The artifact was left at The Wall by former U.S. Army SGT J. Kornsey on June 12, 1996.
MEMORIAL ASSEMBLAGE DEDICATED TO U.S. ARMY PRIVATE FIRST CLASS (PFC) FRANCIS EUGENE SANDERS. THE ASSEMBLAGE CONSISTS OF TWENTY-SEVEN (27), FULLY-WRAPPED, GARCIA & VEGA BRAND CIGARS ORIGINALLY TAPED TO A HANDWRITTEN NOTE IN RED AND BLACK INK & GRAPHITE PENCIL AND BLOCK SCRIPT/ARABIC NUMERALS UPON A PLAIN SEGMENT OF FORT HOWARD CORP. CARDBOARD TRI-FOLDED TO CREATE A STANDING SCREEN (ALTHOUGH THE CIGARS HAVE SINCE BEEN REMOVED FROM THE CARDBOARD WHILE ON NYRO LOAN AND SUBSEQUENTLY HOUSED SEPARATELY INSIDE A CONSERVATION-APPROPRIATE STORAGE BAG INSIDE THE MAIN STORAGE ENCLOSURE). NUMEROUS STRIPS OF DETERIORATED, DISCOLORED (YELLOWED), AND DESSICATED CLEAR SCOTCH TAPE ARE STILL AFFIXED TO THE CLEAR, POLY-PLASTIC WRAPPERS OF THE CIGARS, THEREBY INDICATING A PRIOR METHOD OF ATTACHMENT TO THE CARDBOARD SUBSTRATE. THE HANDWRITTEN NOTE BEGINS, "FOR 28 CHRISTMAS MORNINGS I'V [sic] THOUGHT OF YOU AND OUR LAST CIGAR TOGETHER", IS DEDICATED TO, "FRANCIS EUGENE SANDERS / 32E - 59", AND IS FROM, "SGT. J. KORNSEY". THE NOTE INFORMS PFC SANDERS THAT THE CIGARS ARE INTENDED TO CATCH HIM UP TO SGT KORNSEY FOR THE TWENTY-EIGHT (28) YEARS HE HAS MISSED, WISHES PFC SANDERS A HAPPY BIRTHDAY AND A MERRY CHRISTMAS, AND EXTENDS TO HIM GOD'S PROTECTION WHILE ASSURING HIM THAT HE HAS NOT BEEN FORGOTTEN.
Text of the handwritten note at the obverse object surface and of the printed text at the reverse object surface is transcribed in full, as follows: [Obverse object surface, handwritten inscription] "14 / 14 / FOR 28 CHRISTMAS MORNINGS I'V [sic] THOUGHT OF YOU AND OUR LAST CIGAR TOGETHER / NOW FOR YOUR BIRTHDAY IT'S TIME FOR YOU TO CATCH UP TO ME / FRANCIS EUGENE SANDERS 32E - 59 / 6-12-48 - 12-25-67 / HAPPY BIRTHDAY AND UNTIL NEXT CHRISTMAS MORNINGS [sic] CIGAR AND I PRAY THERE WILL BE MANY MORE / GOD KEEP YOU - YOU ARE NOT FORGOTTEN / SGT. J. KORNSEY / D 3/503 173RD ABN. / 67-68" / [Reverse object surface, printed inscriptions] "232-98 / [...] 3540-00-291-0389 / TOWELS, PAPER, MULTIFOLD, TYPE II / CID A - A- 696A / [...] BX / FORT HOWARD CORP. -GREEN BAY, WI / FORT HOWARD CORP. / RINCON, GA. 31326 / CONTRACT NO. GS - 15F - 62945 / WT. 24.2 LBS. CU. 1.6 / MFG. DATE- 01-96 REINSP: 01-2001"
Item Weight: 200.0g (Collective weight of handwritten note and bag of cigars)
Item Length: 33.0cm
Item Width: 58.0cm
Item Depth: 2.0cm (Thickness)