Saturday, October 25, 2008

Wassup 2008

Truly epic, and appropriate for the times.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Service: A Photo Essay

From "Service", a powerful photo essay on The New Yorker:

"This summer, the photographer Platon took pictures of hundreds of men and women who volunteered to serve in the military and were sent to Iraq or Afghanistan. He followed them on their journey through training and deployment, after demobilization and in hospitals, to compile a portrait of the dedication of the armed services today."

Here's part of the reaction from Colin Powell's appearance on Meet the Press commenting about the presidential race:

"I feel strongly about this particular point because of a picture I saw in a magazine. It was a photo essay about troops who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. And one picture at the tail end of this photo essay was of a mother in Arlington Cemetery, and she had her head on the headstone of her son's grave. And as the picture focused in, you could see the writing on the headstone. And it gave his awards--Purple Heart, Bronze Star--showed that he died in Iraq, gave his date of birth, date of death. He was 20 years old. And then, at the very top of the headstone, it didn't have a Christian cross, it didn't have the Star of David, it had crescent and a star of the Islamic faith. And his name was Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, and he was an American. He was born in New Jersey. He was 14 years old at the time of 9/11, and he waited until he can go serve his country, and he gave his life."

I meant to click through and briefly skim through all of this, but now it's got my full emotional attention. The photo essay is powerful on its own without this controversy, but Mr. Powell's remark adds some serious weight and gravity. A 20 year old man gave his life for something he believed in, and it matters not who he called his God.