The End of War: A Graphic Record

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I came across this image today when browsing through the newly released library of LIFE images that Google has scanned and put online. It’s an interesting image as it visually depicts the end of World War I as seen in wave forms of sound from one of the American’s sound ranging devices on the front lines. You can see it full size here.

The two splices of recording are from the few seconds preceding the cease fire by one minute and the seconds following the cease fire by one minute. It’s an amazing visual contrast and incredible to see a war end, almost as if someone had just switched off a light switch.

Give your kid an extra hug today.

I had another post set to put up today but walking in this morning a single image, viewed through the foggy plastic of a Toronto Star newspaper box made me stop and reconsider a whole lot.

The photo isn’t new, in fact it was taken this past February. At the time it was a happy photo, full of joy and as a dad I can only imagine what Matthew Dawe, the soldier in the photo, was feeling at that time. I’m lucky enough to come home to those moments each and every day.

The headline “Capt. Dawe’s sad fate” accompanied the photo.

Matthew Dawe was due to return home from Afghanistan at the end of this month. No doubt he was already counting the days to when he’d get to relive a moment like this once again. Instead his life was cut short, along with 5 of his fellow soldiers, when an IED exploded beneath their armored personnel carrier. You can read the article here.

What tears me up in this case is his son. He’s old enough to understand who daddy is, and probably knew he was coming home soon – he wouldn’t be counting the days but kids just know. I can’t imagine how his mother will get through telling him that daddy isn’t going home, and most hauntingly, I don’t know how she’ll ever answer “why?”.

I don’t want to get into a debate of whether we should be there or not – I just hope that someone along the way can one day explain to this kid why his dad was there and why the world is a better place because of his contribution. These guys don’t get to pick the missions and I respect their dedication and commitment to serve our country.

So, when you get home tonight give your kid (or someone you love) an extra hug for those little guys who dads won’t be coming home. There’s at least one kid tonight who needs a little extra love form the world today.

Edit: In further reading I came across another article that mentioned Master Cpl. Colin Bason, who was also killed. He deployed when his daughter was just four days old. From the articles both sound like great men who would have made great fathers.

Translation: A deadly job?

In Iraq, yes, VERY.

In fact next to being a US Soldier it appears to be the deadliest:

Nearly one-third of all U.S. contractor deaths in Iraq since the war began in 2003 have been employees of San Diego-based Titan and its new parent L-3 Communications, according to new U.S. government statistics.

L-3/Titan, which has a multibillion-dollar contract with the Defense Department to provide thousands of translators and interpreters to soldiers in the battlefield and elsewhere in the Middle East, has had 216 employees killed in the Iraq war, more than any other entity except the U.S. military.

I’d heard this mentioned before but this was the first time I came across an article about the issue. Who would of have thought?

“(Linguists) are easy for insurgents to spot,” Hendzel said. “They are usually standing between two people and next to the commander. They, by and large, don’t have body armor and are not armed. It’s horrifying.”


Can you spot the translator?

Scary stuff.

Photo: Stuart Jones
Source: San Diego Union-Tribune