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Todd Heisler – Image Gallery

Via: ThePulitzer.org

At the first sight of her husband’s flag-draped casket, Katherine Cathey broke into uncontrollable sobs, finding suport in the arms of Major Steve Beck. When Beck first knocked on her door in Brighton, Colo., to notify her of her husband’s death, she glared at him, cursed him, and refused to speak to him for more than an hour. Over the next several days, he helped guide her through the grief. By the time they reached the tarmac, she wouldn’t let go.

***

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 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. And they should.”

***

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.”

http://www.pulitzer.org/works/2006-Feature-Photography

***

Todd Heisler (born 1972) is an American photojournalist. He is currently a staff photographer for the New York Times. In September 2010, he won an Emmy as a member of the New York Times “One in 8 Million” team.

While at the Rocky Mountain News, Heisler was awarded the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography for “Final Salute,” a series of photographs, taken over the course of a year, profiling the funerals of Marines who died in the war and the work of then Major Steve Beck, who is responsible for notifying the family members of the Marine’s death. The award citation referred to Heisler’s work as a “haunting, behind-the-scenes look” at the funerals.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Todd_Heisler

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October 13, 2011 - Posted by | American photoghaphers | , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Our deepest sympathy to Mrs. Cathey and their family.

    These are “moving” photographs. The second photo is remarkable.

    We have always had the highest respect for Marines. These photos, their conduct, and your comments remind us why.

    Thank you.

    Comment by rfotofolio | May 30, 2012 | Reply


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