Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Passing It On

I am passing on to all of you this message I received today.


This message came in to the American Gold Star Mothers Headquarters. I am mailing it to you for your own consideration as Dept of PA President. As a part of the PA Hometown Heroes Banner emailing list I thought you might be interested.

Ruth Stonesifer


Thank you for speaking with me this afternoon about Newsweek's efforts to contact family members who've lost loved ones in the Iraq War. In the next several weeks, Newsweek is attempting to write a history of the war that is composed almost entirely of the letters, emails and journals of men and women killed in the conflict. My own task is to contact families of service members killed in Iraq during 2006. But that is only part of the story and colleagues of mine are making similar efforts to amass the correspondence of those killed in the first year of the war, in Fallujah in 2004, and in 2005. We'd appreciate anything you can think of that would spread the word quickly to your members who might be willing to share their loved one's letters from Iraq with the public. Perhaps there are list serves, email lists or other ways you folks know about that might help spread our request quickly. It may help for folks to understand how project began. Last fall, Newsweek ran a lengthy piece about a Marine Captain, Robert Secher, who was killed by sniper fire in the Anbar province of Iraq. Secher was a prolific letter writer and, after receiving from his parents a stack of his letters home, we decided to run long excerpts. The letters told one slice of the Iraq story -- what it was like for Secher to train Iraqi troops, how his view of the war had evolved, and how bleak the mission seemed to him by the end of his nine months in Iraq. As a follow-up, we've decided to devote an entire issue to "voices of the fallen" -- letters from a variety of soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who served and died in Iraq. We hope to get letters written during different periods, from the major battles of 2003 through the end of 2006. We will divide the letters into four periods and run excerpts verbatim. There will be no political analysis attached to the text and no editorializing; just introductions to the letters and transitions between the sections. This is the first time in years the magazine will devote most of its pages to one story.The key to this project is getting a large selection of correspondence. Family members willing to share letters or emails from loved ones killed in Iraq can reach me by email or by phone, listed at the bottom of this email. I'm also attaching a link to the story on Secher, which appeared in our November 6 issue, and attaching a copy below. The link: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15458906/site/newsweek/.Thanks in advance for your assistance and regards, Andy Murr

**There was not a phone number or email, but I don't imagine it would be hard to find out. I've let this sit in my Inbox since the 19th. Some things take me longer than others. I don't know why I put stuff off like this.


Semper Fi Mom (aka MinuteMom) said...

I'm glad Newsweek is doing this and glad they won't be adding commentary or spin. The words of the families should stand on their own. Keep us posted about it.

Anonymous said...

is the contact