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E-memorials from soldiers in Iraq

Way back in May 2004, when the Abu Graib prision photos burst onto the scene, we noted in our "Buzz of the Week," times have changed -- in large part because of technology. Back then, we called it the dark side of data sharing. Abu Graib became part of our lexicon because pretty much everybody has a digital camera. That allowed those pictures to make the rounds... and eventually made headlines.

The WSJ has a story in today's issue that also demonstrates that times sure have changed. It is not about any scandal at all, but more a way for soldiers to show their appreciation of their fallen brethren... but they are doing it online.

On Battlefield, Soldiers Make Digital Memorials [WSJ, 1.26.2006]
Digital photography, video and Internet access have let soldiers in Iraq stay closer than ever to friends and family. Now, these electronic records are also creating powerful and raw memorials.

The WJS ususally provides us with 'free' links, but they didn't today. So... if you aren't a subscriber, try this link.

Here is the top of the story:

The night his buddy was killed by insurgent gunfire in Iraq last March, Army Spc. Mitchell Bass hopped out of his bunk and grabbed his laptop. He searched his computer for every digital photo he could find of the friend, Staff Sgt. Juan Solorio, and then wandered around the camp in Mosul with his portable hard drive asking other soldiers whether they had any photos or video clips.

They gave him shots of Sgt. Solorio sporting a newly shaved head and leaning against a burned-out truck on an Iraqi roadside. They found footage of Sgt. Solorio reaching for his pistol, dropping it in the mud and laughing. Spc. Bass strung all the images together into a video and added a soundtrack, "The Night That the Lights Went Out in NYC" by punk band the Ataris. Then he played it at a memorial service in Iraq.

"As a joke he grew this huge, disgusting mustache," Spc. Bass said of his friend. "I made sure to add a few of those photos in there."

Digital photography, video and Internet access have let soldiers in Iraq stay closer to distant friends and family than troops in any other war. Now, these electronic records are also creating a powerful and raw new wave of war memorials.

They also have links to some of these sites.

There is a study out that had the shocking conclusion that the Internet allows us to stay in touch with family and friends, which is such a truism, but... it does!

Posted by Christopher Dorobek on Jan 26, 2006 at 12:15 PM


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