I recently came across two photographs that many military and veteran’s wives share with each other as Memorial Day comes near.
Captured by photographer Todd Heisler for his 2005 award-winning series “Jim Comes Home” for The Rocky Mountain News, these photos show the return of Second Lieutenant Jim Cathey, a Marine who lost his life in Iraq, as his young widow Katherine Cathey, prepares for his burial.
In the first photo Mrs. Cathey, who is pregnant, spends the night before his burial in front of his casket. She has a laptop so she can listen to songs that remind her of her husband. A Marine stands guard over both of them.
In the second photo we see Lieutenant Cathey’s casket being unloaded from the cargo hold of an airplane. We also see the faces of the passengers as they peer through the window.
No words could ever take away this painful moment in Mrs. Cathey’s life. How many women (and men) have experienced this devastating loss? How many more will there be?
Brooklyn Legends salutes the women and men who have paid the ultimate price for the freedom we enjoy.
As Memorial Day Nears, a Single Image That Continues to Haunt, Lily Burana, The New York Times, May 25, 2012