Undertoad Tuesday Jan 20 02:14 PM
1/20/2004: A soldier's funeral
The images are so pure Americana. And when you stop to think about it, they show us an image that is so wrong and so right at the same time.
So wrong, because it is a funeral. James M. Kiehl met his wife at an Army training center at Fort Gordon, GA. They married in July 2001. She was pregnant with their first child when he was shipped overseas. James was killed on March 23, 2003. He was 22. Nathaniel Ethan Kiehl was born on May 12.
So wrong. And yet so right; somehow everything RIGHT with the situation is two and a half miles of children with flags solemnly acknowledging the casket.
James was a member of Pfc. Jessica Lynch's unit, the Fort Bliss, Texas-based 507th Maintenance Company, which was ambushed near Nasiriyah. The unit was on a supply mission.
James Kiehl, thank you.
Serk Tuesday Jan 20 03:02 PM
I may strongly disagree with WHY they were sent, but that does not in any way lessen my respect for those who have gone, and even more so for those who have paid the ultimate price...
xoxoxoBruce Tuesday Jan 20 06:40 PM
2 1/2 miles on both sides of the road.
Elspode Tuesday Jan 20 11:36 PM
That is at once the saddest and most glorious thing that I have seen in quite some time. Thanks, UT.
warch Tuesday Jan 20 11:51 PM
it just makes me sad.
stlbob Friday Jan 23 06:57 AM
I thought this was totally cool. I wish all our returning soldiers were treated this way!
daniwong Friday Jan 23 10:35 AM
Thanks UT. My buddy is over there right now and originally they were saying they weren't coming home until June. (After almost 2 years) Now I find out they will probably be flying to Colorado on Feb 22nd - 1 day before my birthday. This is probably the best present anyone could have ever given me. Granted - they will be in quarantine for a month - but hell - stateside is better that the Kuwait/Iraq border.
chrisinhouston Friday Jan 23 04:31 PM
Very moving pictures and the video still frames through the car window add a surreal, dreamy quality to them. I did some looking around at the website and found a link to this one:
P-J Friday Jan 23 07:53 PM
richlevy Friday Jan 23 09:49 PM
I like the Churchill quote the best. Of course I believe he oversimplifies the situation a bit. What these words evoke in the people who hear or read them is as unique to each person as a fingerprint. When we see an object like an orange, those of us who are familiar with them bring our experience of what is an orange.
Freedom, honor, justice - are all concepts. They are not tangible, and are sometimes only noticed in their absence. People who have known oppression can better appreciate freedom. Injustice makes more of an impression than justice in the same way that we only notice the air we breathe when it is cut off.
It is an amazing sacrifice to give up one's life for duty. Many of us would fight hard if we could see our house at the edge of the battlefield. Fighting and dying in a war thousands of miles away against an enemy who probably could never have reached our shores demands a great commitment and sense of duty. Each man and woman who risks themselves because of an oath deserves everything we can give. In a nation where many of us live in comfort and safety, the example of what some must endure should be a reminder of what we take for granted each day.
They deserve our respect. Their families deserve everything we can give them.
Joy Monday Feb 9 04:26 AM
That is why photos of our fallen Heros coffins are not shown. It has been a law for many , many years.
xoxoxoBruce Monday Feb 9 08:31 AM
Welcome to the Cellar, Joy. I'm confused about the law that forbids photographing military coffins. I've seen still pictures and film clips of coffins being unloaded at Dover AFB in DE. I've also seen pictures of military funerals where the coffin was plainly displayed. I remember seeing pictures from Viet Nam showing body bags lined up and being carried, but that's different, I guess.
novice Monday Feb 9 09:11 AM
It's all about context. I understand why it's rarely depicted as a current event but often used in documentary form to highlight the atrocity of war/conflict in general.
novice Monday Feb 9 09:55 AM
Ps: Welcome to the Cellar Joy.
Joy Tuesday Feb 10 02:52 AM
Thanks Novice and xoxoxoBruce for the welcome.
modernhamlet Friday Feb 13 05:03 PM
The reporting of war dead and distribution of images like that shouldn't be banned. Powerful images make you think. And no matter what side of the debate you're on, I think we can agree, this country could use a little more thought to go along with it's great debates.
OnyxCougar Saturday Feb 14 01:21 AM
How is showing the coffin of a veteran in any way disrespectful?
Beestie Saturday Feb 14 02:01 AM
God bless the families of the war dead. Our hearts are with you.
juju Saturday Feb 14 11:41 AM