Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day

What's wrong with this picture?

This is a portrait of journalist Ernest Taylor Pyle, hanging in the office of University of New Mexico Journalism Professor Dennis Herrick, who found it in a storage closet.

Known as “Ernie,” the painting of Pyle is damaged. You can see the tear in the globe in what was southern Soviet Union, now the Ukraine.

Pyle made his home in Albuquerque and was the 1944 Pulitzer Prize winning war correspondent for his work in 1943 war coverage. He wrote for the Scripps-Howard Newspaper Alliance.

His house on Girard Street S.E. is now an Albuquerque public library with museum displays and a memorial.

He wrote about soldiers’ lives in combat zones; about where they came from and how they made their way to war. His individual storytelling made the fighting men the real boys from next door to the folks back home.

Time magazine wrote that Pyle was "America's most widely read war correspondent."

On April 17, 1945, a Japanese sniper on Okinawa killed him.

He is buried in the National Cemetery at the Punch Bowl in Honolulu, Hawaii.

As we honor the military personnel today who made the ultimate sacrifice while taking up arms, I choose to recall Pyle’s efforts to keep the common American people in touch with the common American fighting soldier.

President George W. Bush today placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers. He gave a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia and signed into law the "Respect for America's Fallen Heroes Act." The law makes it a misdemeanor for certain demonstrations at cemeteries under the control of the National Cemetery Administration.

Jim Baca’s Only in New Mexico blog today has an interesting story about anti-war veterans being challenged for protesting at the New Mexico Veterans Memorial.

What did these honored Americans die for? So that the rest of the Americans for whom they died could not exercise their rights?

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