Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A modern grief observed.......

Memorial Day. The unofficial kickoff to summer. Barbecues sizzling. Lawn sprinklers hissing. Local marching bands tooting out Sousa. Red, white, and blue bunting hanging from the porch railings, and on TV, someone begins a recitation of Lt. Col. John McCrae’s classic poem: In Flanders field, the poppies blow/Between the crosses row on row …
In the run-up to every Memorial Day weekend, for the past several years, a certain photo takes top spot in those most circulated among my fellow military and veteran wives. On blogs, on social media sites, it is shared and “liked” over and over. Taken by the photographer Todd Heisler from his 2005 award-winning series for The Rocky Mountain News, “Jim Comes Home” — which documents the return and burial of Second Lt. Jim Cathey of the Marines, who lost his life in Iraq — the photo shows his pregnant widow, Katherine, lying on an air mattress in front of his coffin. She’s staring at her laptop, listening to songs that remind her of Jim. Her expression is vacant, her grief almost palpable.
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