Tuesday, October 10, 2006

2006 Pulitzer Prize Winner

October 10, 2006

“Awarded to Todd Heisler of the Rocky Mountain News, Denver, Colo., for his haunting, behind-the-scenes look at funerals for Colorado Marines who return from Iraq in caskets.” Click for the series:

Rocky Mountain News, Marine Honors

Rocky Mountain News – Final Salute

A very fitting award for a series of photographs and story chronicling the sadness and honor bestowed on a fellow Marine by his comrades as they help his survivors through the grief and sadness of losing a loved one to war.

While the deaths of our Service men and women have been used by the anti-war crowd to further their agenda, seeing one death so honored fills this old Viet Nam Veteran with pride. Pride in country and our Military.

With all of the anti-Americanism once again filling our airwaves and press, to see that there are still young people who share the sense of duty and honor many of us felt long ago as we enlisted and were sent off to a far away land to fight for freedom, gives me hope for our country in the face of all those who would tear it apart and destroy the greatness that America is.

These photos depict a camaraderie few outside of those who have served can understand. We veterans do not feel we are Heroes, the Heroes are those who have fallen.

Semper Fi, Marine



Anonymous said...

Lew what a beautiful post. I come from a family of veterans and as you know my husband is a veteran too.

I have witnessed some of what you describe here. Yes the heroes are the fallen, but one thing I have observed that I would like to share with you.

There would be no heroes if there were no men, women, fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, sons, daughters, friends, acquaintances - strangers it they did not choose to walk the military walk and sacrifice themselves selflessly for our country and for us.

There are all kind of heroes Lew and some of you are still living testaments of that.

colleency said...

Thank you, Lew, for posting this link.

My husband flew for the Navy for 22 years. I look at these photos and remember... the gut-wrenching terror of an unexpected knock on the door (thank God it was never THE knock); the closeness, the support of squadron families (we became each others families); the funerals of so many aviators; the families left behind ...

God bless the soldiers, the sailors, the marines ... God bless their families ... And God bless our leaders, that their hearts may always hold gratitude for these noble warriors.

LewWaters said...

Doll, Colleency, thank you.

I can only imagine sitting at home hopefully to never hear that dreaded knock. When I was in Viet Nam, I was single, no girl friend, just a few friends back home that seemed to forget I was even alive.

To see this series of photos and the story and seeing it won the Pulitzer Prize welled me up with tears.

So many don't even realize what it is like to the ones on the front lines, at the battlefront and at home supporting your loved ones.

Anonymous said...


I read the article too. My oldest bro was 3/9/3 Mike Co, 1st Plt with two tours under his belt & starting a third when he was wounded around Con Thien 21Sept67.

Thankfully our family didn't have to experience what other families have over the years. The big shock & bad news arrived in the form of a telegraph on 23Sept67.

My mother fainted after opening & reading it.

Two days later, the USMC on orders of General Westmoreland sent an LTC, Major, 2LT & Chaplain to our house.

The LTC apologized profusely to my mother and kids for what General Westmoreland felt was very careless handling of a serious matter.

After everyone settled down, they told her to hire a babysitter for us kids & pack her bags because she was on the next flight courtesy of the USMC to BNH @ Bremerton.

I still remember those four men standing on our front porch in dress blues. It's a sight I will never forget.

General Westmoreland followed up with several visits to Tim by subordinate officers, telephone calls & letters checking up on us for quite a few months afterwards.

Made one young boy awfully proud of the USMC too. Thanks.

LewWaters said...

Streetsweeper, "Westy" loved his troops. Your experience proves that even more.

Thank you for sharing that. People need to know he wasn't what the anti-war left painted him as, a cold and callous man.