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. 'They will remember being on that plane for the rest of their lives. They're going to remember bringing that Marine home. And they should.' James Of Arci, 2Nd En, Flags, Airports, Rocky Mountain, James D'Arcy, Marines, Fallen Soldiers, Planes
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Check out Todd Heisler's Pulitzer Prize winning series of photos of Katherine Cathey, widow of Marine 2nd Lt. James Cathey. So few of us know the people who have served in these wars, and fewer still have actually deployed, so very few of us are acquainted with the risks our servicemen take, and the very real possibility of loss that their families face.
I have only heard the story behind this picture once, but it literally brought tears to my eyes. On September 11, 2001, a hijacked plane knifed into the side of the Pentagon. We all know that. What very few people have heard is shortly afterwards, the director of a nursery in the building stood looking at the children in her charge, wondering how to move all of the babies and toddlers to safety. A marine rushed into the room and asked if she was alright. She needed help and she told him that. He turned and ran out; the woman assumed that he had gone away for good. As she formulated a plan of action, she heard footsteps in the hall. The man had returned—this time, though, he was not alone. At least forty other Marines followed him. They picked up the babies in their cribs, the toddlers, the helpless infants. They carried them through the halls and to a nearby park, where they arranged the cribs in a circle and set the toddlers in the middle. Then they stood guard outside, never allowing the children to be unattended. When I first saw this picture, I thought that the man carrying the children was their father. Now I realize that he was not related to them by blood, but by nationality. He is an American. They are American children. He is not their father, he is their protector. He’s a United States Marine.
""One thing you will NEVER, EVER forget? Being on a commercial flight, & crew makes announcement it is their HONOR to be a part of escorting a fallen soldier home. They ask after landing, that everyone remain seated while the military escort team deboards. Of course, during this time, the plane is SILENT, except for the sound of the coffin being unloaded from the cargo hold. I DARE you not to cry. Pray for our heros and their families. Thank you."