The pain never goes away. Sarah Greene of Branford, Connecticut, visits the gravesite of her husband, Lt. Col. David S. Greene, USMC who was killed in Iraq in July 28, 2004 when he was hit by ground fire while flying his helicopter over Iraq.
A son's tribute to his Fallen Dad. This is 4-year-old Ryan Lemm saluting the casket of his father, Joseph Lemm, who was killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan on December 21, 2015 while Serving in the Air National Guard. Joseph Lemm was also a NYPD Detective.
Coming home. A casket containing the body of Joseph Lemm is carried into St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York, Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015. Lemm, who was a technical sergeant in the Air Guard's 105th Base Security Squadron and a 15-year veteran of the New York Police Department, was killed when his patrol was attacked by a suicide bomber outside Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan.
When he comes off the aircraft, total silence, and grief. Being on a commercial flight, the crew announces it is their honor to be escorting a Fallen Soldier home. They ask after landing, that everyone remain seated while the military escort team deplanes. Of course, during this time, the plane is silent, except for the sound of the coffin being unloaded from the cargo hold.
Mourning the loss of a Fallen brother. A Marine with 1-7 Marines mourns the loss of a Fallen Brother at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan. Other Marines await their turn.
The warrior weeps alone That is where his heart seeks his lost brothers.
The emotional toll. The job takes an emotional toll on law enforcement members. They are human beings who are put into some unthinkable situations performing a frustrating duty for a demanding public.
A friend mourning a loss. This rips at me from every angle.
Mounring lost brothers. U.S. infantrymen pray in the Vietnamese jungle Dec. 9, 1965 during memorial services for comrades killed in the battle of the Michelin rubber plantation, 45 miles northwest of Saigon.
Loyalty, sorrow, lost for words. Slain Navy SEAL Jon Tumilson's dog "Hawkeye" lies next to his casket during funeral services in Rockford, Iowa. Tumilson was one of 30 American soldiers killed in Afghanistan on August 6 when their helicopter was shot down during a mission to help fellow troops who had come under fire.
The pain never goes away. The hurt is painful. For many, tears let some of the pain out, but that pain will always gnaw at one’s heart.
This breaks my heart. One wonders whether it had to be this way.
The grief is overwhelming. Almost more than one can take. People grieve at a gravesite in Section 60, an area where members of the U.S. military who were killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan are buried, during Veterans Day observances at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, November 11, 2012.
Committal at sea, an ancient tradition. Sailors commit a Sailor's remains to the sea during a burial at sea ceremony aboard the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75)
No greater loyalty. For the past 6 years, a German shepherd called Capitán has slept next to the grave of his owner every night at 6pm. His owner, Miguel Guzmán died in 2006. Capitán, the dog, disappeared while the family attended the funeral services. A week later relatives of Guzmán were visiting the cemetery when they were astounded to find the dog next to the owner's grave. The cemetery director says that the dog comes around each night at 6pm, and has done so for the past 6 years! .
Tribute, respect, loss. A Marine pays his final respects to Sgt. Bradley Atwell during a memorial ceremony, September 20, 2012. During the ceremony, Marines paid tribute to Atwell, an aircraft electrical, instrument and flight control systems technician with Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 16, from Kokomo, Indiana. Atwell was killed in action while engaging insurgents during an attack on Camp Bastion, September 14, 2012.
This breaks my heart. Two children grieve for their fallen father on Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, Monday, May 31, 2010.
Saying goodbye never is easy. Lance Cpl. Isaac Ramirez, Marine Wing Support Squadron 471, stands guard over Pfc. Nicolai 'Cola' Jensen at the Church of St. Patrick June 24 while his girlfriend, Abby Cuttell, says goodbye. Jensen passed away while attending the School of Infantry.
No way for an airman to die. Elizabeth Brodeur, 7, weeps for her slain father, Maj. David Brodeur, during a graveside service at the Air Force Academy on May 17, 2011 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The 34-year-old U.S. fighter pilot was serving as a NATO trainer in Afghanistan when he and 8 other Americans were shot and killed by an Afghan Air Force cadet April 27 at the Kabul International Airport.
A family’s grief, A nation’s loss. A father salutes the casket of his son on March 23, 2011. Buckley Air Force Base honored Lance Cpl. Christopher Mies when he arrived home.
Farewell, my brother. U.S. Army soldiers assigned to Company C, 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, Task Force “No Slack,” 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, say farewell during a memorial service for six fallen soldiers at Forward Operating Base Joyce in eastern Afghanistan's Kunar Province on April 9, 2011.
Daddy, come here! Sixteen-month-old Aubrey Melton reaches for her father, SSgt. Josh Melton, USA as she views his body with her mother Larissa before his funeral service on June 27, 2009 in Germantown, Illinois. SSgt. Melton, who was serving in Afghanistan with the Illinois National Guard, was killed in Kandahar during an IED attack on June 19, 2009.
Never forget the price of freedom. Meet Eli. Eli’s dad is Sgt. Chad D. Frokjer, USMC, of Maplewood, Minnesota. He was killed in action by an improvised explosive device in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, while on dismounted patrol, June 30, 2011. He was with the 1-5 Marines. Sgt. Frokjer was killed two months before Eli was born.
Mom, daughter, and dad. It will never be the same. Nicole Conley and her daughter, Catherine, visit the grave of Conley's husband, Marine Cpl. Matthew Conley of Greenhill, Alabama on what would have been his 23rd birthday.
More than words. This is Landon Carpenter, born March 18, 2011, the son of LCpl Andrew Carpenter, USMC, who was shot in Afghanistan and died on February 19, 2011, less than a month before Landon was born.
The love a family holds. The only thing harder than being a soldier, is loving one.
Son Jack understands his father's sacrifice. Jack McNamara, 3, where's his dad's helmet during the funeral procession for NYC firefighter John McNamara, 44, who died of colon cancer. Fireman McNamara fought in the WTC fire of 9-11 and in the Katrina ravaged streets of New Orleans. He worked some 500 hours searching for bodies and survivors following the enemy air attack against the WTC. He lost a lot of friends there, and was hell-bent on finding them and the others. John fought hard to stay alive, to get more time with son Jack, whom "he loved more than life itself." End of Watch. Photo credit: Egin-Chin, NY Daily News. (081509)
I am compelled to show this photo of John McNamara leaving St. Patrick's Cathedral on his way to his final resting place. Watching firefighters bury there own is among the most moving traditions we have in this country. I tear a bit just looking at this photo, and the others like it. These are among our first responders, every day ready to give their lives to save us here at home. God bless them all. Photo credit: Egin-Chin, NY Daily News. (081509)
A heartbreaking embrace. Mimi Martin embraces her husband’s grave marker during a recent visit. Her husband, Sgt. Shawn P. Martin, an explosive ordnance disposal technician, was killed in action in Iraq on June 20, 2007. As the two-year mark of her husband’s death approaches, Martin carries on her husband’s legacy daily with her work as the spokeswoman for the New York State Fallen Stars Memorial Project. Photo credit: Tiffany Thomes
Pain. Why won’t it go away? It will never go away. This is a way to let some of it out.
"The chair is empty --- they are not here." POW/MIA "Remember" Table Ceremony. "The table set for one is a small symbol of the frailty of prisoners alone against their oppressors. The tablecloth is white, symbolizing their intentions to respond to their country's call to arms. The single rose in the vase symbolizes the families and loved ones of those comrades in arms who keep the faith awaiting their return. The red ribbon tied so prominently on the vase is reminiscent of the red ribbon worn on the lapel and breasts of thousands who bear witness to the unyielding determination to demand a proper accounting of our missing. A slice of lemon is on the bread plate to remind us of their bitter fate. There is salt upon the bread plate, symbolic of families' tears as they wait. The glass is inverted --- they cannot toast with us tonight. The chair is empty --- they are not here. Remember." (020308)
"Know the line has held. Your job is done." "Rest easy, sleep well my brothers. Know the line has held, your job is done. Rest easy, sleep well. Others have taken up where you fell, the line has held. Peace, peace, and farewell..."
Each December, members of the armed forces, civil air patrol, veterans and volunteer citizens have gathered to lay more than 5,000 wreaths on gravesites at Arlington National Cemetery. The project, which first began in 1992, was the idea of Merrill Worcester, owner of Worcester Wreath Company in Harrington, Maine. That year, Worcester had a wreath surplus and thought back to his youth. At age 12, he’d won a trip to Washington, D.C., and Arlington National Cemetery was one of the most memorable places he visited. His first thought was to bring the extra 4,000 wreaths there. Since then, he’s driven to Arlington every year with volunteers and a truck full of decorations. Courtesy of the National Christmas Tree Association. Visit Christmas Wreaths 2007 Photos, presented by Arlington National Cemetery.
A son's pain over his father's loss. Christian Golczynski, 8, receives the flag that covered the coffin of his father, U.S. Marine Staff Sgt. Marcus Golczynski, from Lt. Col. Ric Thompson during a graveside service in Wheeler, Tennessee, April 4, 2007. Golczynski, who had been a Marine reservist for 12 years, was shot March 27 by enemy fire while on patrol in Anbar province, where he was stationed on his second tour of duty in Iraq. He was assigned to the Marine Forces Reserve's Third Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, Fourth Marine Division, in Nashville. Photo credit: Aaron Thompson, Daily News Journal, AP
We honor our fallen brothers. Somber. Sobering. Firefighters and their families think about their own. They come together for one another. It does not remove the bitter edge of the loss, but it softens it to know that everybody stands behind them like this. A very special honor. This photo was taken from a superb slide presentation posted by the Florida Fallen Firefighter Memorial at the Firefighter College at Ocala, Florida. The traditions, respect and dignity of America's firefighters compare with any. The slide presentation with sound will give you pause. (020707)
A former Marine, he served in Iraq. A FDNY firefighter, he gave his life for his community. Firefighters carry the flag draped casket of New York City firefighter Michael Reilly from St. Paul Roman Catholic Church in Ramsey, N.J., September 1, 2006 after a funeral service. Reilly, 25, a firefighter, perished on August 27 while fighting a blaze in the Bronx, N.Y. Lt. Howard Carpluk also was killed. Following the funeral service, Reilly's mother, Monica, was presented with her son's fire helmet. Photo credit: Mel Evans, AP
Bands of warriors. U.S. Marines prepare to transfer the flag-draped casket carrying Cpl. Brett Lundstrom, 22, from a hearse to a wagon January 14, 2006 on the road leading to Kyle, S.D. “He earns the American flag from his government,” says Vietnam veteran John Around Him. “He earns the eagle feather from his people.” Read Jim Sheeler's article for the Rocky Mountain News, "Wake for an Indian Warrior." View a magnificent series of photographs of the Marine and Oglala Sioux paying their respects to Cpl. Lundstrom, entitled, "A wake for an Indian warrior," photos credited to Todd Heisler. These photos are "must see," the article is "must read." Also see our photo gallery, "We mourn those we lose." (021106)
Firefighter down, all residents saved. The casket of Captain Marcel Marleau, 47, who died in service on January 21, 2006, is carried past two firefighters holding his cap and helmet as the procession leaves city hall for the funeral in Montreal, January 26, 2006. Marleau, a decorated 28-year veteran, was trapped by a deadly flashover (hot gases build up near ceiling and suddenly explode) in a five alarm apartment building fire. All 30 residents were saved. Photo credit: Christinne Muschi, Reuters
Everyday workers just earning a living at a very dangerous job. Barbour County employee Bill Stemple lights candles at the base of crosses commemorating the four miners from Barbour County who were killed in the Sago Mine explosion Friday, Jan. 6, 2006, in Philippi, W. Va. Philippi is the Barbour County seat. Photo credit: Ed Reinke, AP
They took a stand against evil. Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer Lee Johnston walks past a picture of his twin brother Leo (R) during a memorial for four slain officers in Edmonton, Alberta, March 10, 2005. Constables Peter Schiemann, Leo Johnston, Anthony Gordon and Brock Myrol were shot and killed while investigating complaints of stolen property and a suspected marijuana grow operation on a farm near Mayerthorpe, Alberta. We did a special tribute to them shortly after the event. Photo credit: Shaun Best, Reuters
Last vigil. On the eve of the funeral for 2nd Lt. Jim Cathey, USMC, his wife, Katherine, insisted on sleeping next to Jim's body. The Marines arranged a bed and offered to stand guard through the night. She fell asleep to music she and Jim had planned to play at their formal wedding celebration when he returned. Photo credit: Todd Heisler, Rocky Mountain News, presented by Time magazine in a heartbreaking photo essay, "Honor after the Fall." We urge you to view
The pain, a young American woman in black. Two women mourn after a memorial ceremony to honour fallen soldiers of the U.S. Army 1st Infantry Division and Task Force Danger who have died in Iraq at the Leighton Barracks in Wuerzburg June 6, 2005. Some 193 soldiers of the 1st Infantry Division and Task Force Danger lost their lives during both wars in Iraq. Photo credit: Alex Grimm, Reuters
A Marine honoring his fallen brother, also a Marine. Sgt. Joe Houser pauses at the casket of his brother, Sgt. Tom Houser, following funeral services at St. Joseph Cemetery in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Houser, a member of the 2nd Force Reconnaissance Company assigned to work with the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, was killed Jan. 3, 2005 by enemy fire in Iraq’s Anbar province, military officials said. Photo credit: Ben DeVries, The Daily Nonpareil, AP photo
Honor and Remember. Texas Association of Vietnam Veterans lay boots at a Firebase Ceremony to remember their fallen comrades, Austin, Texas, on or about November 7, 2004. Photo credit: Sarah Beal
This is Scout leader Ross, reverently strolling through Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day 2003, at quick glance, almost a vision of a Union soldier with the Colors coming to see those who have fallen after battle.
No greater pain than the pain of a mother who has lost her child. Patricia Webb (R), mother of U.S. Army Specialist Jamaal Addison, mourns along with other family members during his funeral at White's Chapel United Methodist Church in Conyers, Georgia on April 7, 2003. Addison was killed when his unit, the 507th Ordnance Maintenance Company, was ambushed by Iraqi forces on March 23. Photo credit: Tami Chappell, Reuters
Her home spared, she mourns for those not so lucky. Darlene Young reacts to the devastation around her house in Pierce City, Mo., May 5, 2003. Young says her house was spared destruction by a church next to it that took the brunt of the winds. Photo credit: John S. Stewart, AP
That's my lieutenant lying there! Corporal Technician Harry Hudec of Cleveland, Ohio, kisses the grave of his Lt. Joseph Duffy, as Hudec attended the 60-year commemoration service at the Netherlands American Cemetery in Margraten, southern Netherlands, Sunday May 30, 2004. Photo credit: Peter Dejong, AP
Tracing the name of a friend. A Canton OH Police Officer Kneeling at the Wall of the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, DC, during Police Week 2004
Vietnam veteran Ed Duran hugs a statue at the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial at Capitol Park in Sacramento, Calif., May 26, 2003. Duran, a Marine who served in Vietnam from 1967 to 1969 visited the monument on Memorial Day to honor friends who were killed in the conflict. Photo credit: Rich Pedroncelli, AP
A Shanksville, Pennsylvania memorial in the fog, United Air 93, 911, all souls aboard gone, most to heaven, the terrorist to eternal damnation in hell.