So a Milie friend of mine had this really heart-breaking photo posted on Facebook and I just had to do some research on it. After finding out all about it, I had to share it.
The night before the burial of her husband's body, Katherine Cathey refused to leave the casket, asking to sleep next to his body for the last time. The Marines made a bed for her, tucking in the sheets below the flag. Before she fell asleep, she opened her laptop computer and played songs that reminded her of "Cat," and one of the Marines asked if she wanted them to continue standing watch as she slept. "I think it would be kind of nice if you kept doing it," she said. "I think that's what he would have wanted."
There is an incredible gallery that is a collaboration of photo journalism that was printed back in 2005 and acknowledged and featured in 2006 on Digital Journalist. It's called Final Salute and all of the photos and their back-stories, as well as the piece written all about the photographer Todd Heisler and the reporter he worked with (Jim Sheeler) can be found HERE. I strongly suggest and encourage EVERYONE to go and read these stories and see these photos.
War is real.
More real than most people recognize it to be. So please, never forget, never push it aside, and never, ever doubt the sacrifices that men and women are making every single day, for YOU.
When 2nd Lt. James Cathey's body arrived at the Reno Airport, Marines climbed into the cargo hold of the plane and draped the flag over his casket as passengers watched the family gather on the tarmac. During the arrival of another Marine's casket last year at Denver International Airport, Major Steve Beck described the scene as one of the most powerful in the process: "See the people in the windows? They'll sit right there in the plane, watching those Marines. You gotta wonder what's going through their minds, knowing that they're on the plane that brought him home," he said. "They're going to remember being on that plane for the rest of their lives. They're going to remember bringing that Marine home. And they should."