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Marine Lance Cpl. Christopher Cosgrove III died in Iraq in October. A street sign in Cedar Knolls will honor his memory.

05/11/07 - Posted from the Daily Record newsroom
Street sign in Hanover to honor fallen Marine

Cedar Knolls resident killed by car bomb while serving in Iraq

BY VIDYA PADMANABHAN
DAILY RECORD

HANOVER -- Not that she needs it, but starting Saturday, every time Charlene Cosgrove Bowie steps out of her house, the street sign will remind her of her only child.

Marine Lance Cpl. Christopher Cosgrove III, 23, was killed by a suicide car bomb in Iraq on Oct. 1 last year.

On Saturday, a plaque to commemorate Cosgrove's heroism and service to his country will be unveiled above the sign for Cypress Drive in Cedar Knolls, where Charlene Bowie and her husband, Art Bowie, live.

The sign was moved across the road so that it would be directly in front of the Bowies' home at Cypress Drive and Sycamore Terrace, said Gunnery Sgt. Mario Monaco of the Marine Corps League Slattery Detachment, Cosgrove's unit.

The league had been working closely with the family on charitable projects in Cosgrove's memory, Monaco said. The Bowies had been named honorary members of the league.

The league, together with the township committee, had made the street dedication possible, Charlene Bowie said Thursday.

"It's wonderful what people are doing to keep his memory alive," she said.

Career dreams

It had been seven long months since her son's death. "We're taking each day at a time," she said. "I pretend he's still away."

She still thinks about what might have been.

Cosgrove, a Whippany Park High School and Monmouth University graduate, had wanted to enter law enforcement after his stint with the Marines. But, inspired by his fiancée, Jessica Gurdemir, he had also thought about becoming a history teacher, Bowie said.

She and Gurdemir still talk every day, just as they did when Cosgrove was in Iraq, Bowie said. "They didn't sign any papers, but in my heart, she's my daughter-in-law," she said.

Her neighbors on the street on which Cosgrove grew up, feel her heartache. Several of them had left remembrance messages on www.christophercosgrove.org.

"You are the bravest person that I have ever met and I am damn proud to have known you and to be friends with you,"wrote Jonathan Marzella. "It is a true honor to be living next door to the family of a true American hero."

"After all of these years, I never thought I would be living on a street named after one of my buddies," wrote Nick Gregory.

Friends' emotions

Nick, his brother, Chris, and Chris Cosgrove had been close friends growing up, Nick's mother, Mary Gregory, said. Cosgrove had moved to the neighborhood when he was 11 or 12. The three boys had been on the football team together at Whippany Park, and Gregory remembered seeing the Bowies in the stands, cheering for the team.

Now, she sees the flag in front of the Bowies' house at half-staff. "When the wind comes, it ripples, and it feels like somebody's out there," she said.

The dedication ceremony will start at 10 a.m. on Cypress Drive in Cedar Knolls.

Charlene Bowie, who says she seeks some measure of comfort by "doing good things in his memory," welcomes donations to Marines Helping Marines, a project Cosgrove had worked on, through which Marines visit and help injured comrades in Bethesda, Md. Contributions can be sent to P.O. Box 306, Cedar Knolls, NJ 07927.

A golf outing to benefit the project will be held July 26 at the Picatinny Arsenal Golf Club. More details are at www.christophercosgrove.com.

Contributions may also be made to the Whippany Park High School Scholarship Fund, at 165 Whippany Road, Whippany 07981.


Vidya Padmanabhan can be reached at (973) 428-6621 or vpadmana@gannett.com.
Daily Record.com. 11 May 2007
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