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Rae McQueary got the news about her husband, Jeremy.

Stricken with grief, Rae doesn't remember what was said when another Marine came to her door Thursday to tell her of Jeremy's death.

"It's just unbelievable. I mean, it can't be," she said. "It's still kind of hard to believe that it's him. I have not seen a body. ... In my heart, I just want to believe that it's not real." (Source)

Please join me tonight in marking the loss of Sgt. Jeremy R. McQueary, 27, of Columbus, Ind. and of the 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C. and remembering his service to our nation.

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Tue Feb 09, 2010 at 06:51 PM PST

IGTNT: An Eagle Takes Flight

by monkeybiz

Tonight we mark the passing of Sgt. Dillon B. Foxx, 22, of Traverse City, Mich., once and always an Eagle:

As a young boy, Dillon was a student at Andrew Jackson Elementary School in Old Hickory, TN. He was one of our AJS Eagles. Our young eagle gave the ultimate sacrifice for his country and our freedom. Thoughts and prayers from this community and our school go out to his family and friends at this most difficult time. At Andrew Jackson School, we will never forget. Once an Eagle, Always an Eagle. -- Ms. Floyd -teacher (Old Hickory, TN)

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Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 06:47 PM PST

IGTNT: "So Costly a Sacrifice"

by monkeybiz

Executive Mansion
Washington, D.C.
November 21, 1864

Dear Madam,

I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant-General of Massachusetts, that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle.

I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save.

I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours, to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of Freedom.

Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,

Abraham Lincoln

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Tonight, we light a candle of memory against the darkness of grief and loss. We remember.

This retrospective, the first of two, is a compilation of 2009's "I Got the News Today" diaries, tributes to American service members who died as a result of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. When you click on the links, you'll find their stories--the details that their friends remember, the last calls home to parents, their MySpace messages to loved ones. These are not numbers. They were husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, parents, children, friends, colleagues, brothers and sisters in arms.

If you are new to the series, please click on a date and read about a few of these lives. If you have been with us this year, please know how much your presence has meant. To the families and friends who may read this--we have not forgotten your loved one.

As in other years, we have chosen "We Remember Them," by Rabbis Sylvan Kamens and Jack Riemer, to help us reflect on these losses. Thank you for being here tonight to remember.

Please also visit Part 2 of this diary.

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Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 07:12 PM PST

IGTNT: Then the Letting Go

by monkeybiz

This is the hour of lead
Remembered if outlived,
As freezing persons recollect the snow--
First chill, then stupor, then the letting go.
-- From Emily Dickinson’s "After Great Pain, A Formal Feeling Comes"

Tonight, we mark the passing of three more brave spirits: Cpl. Xhacob Latorre, 21, of Waterbury, Conn.; Pfc. Jaiciae L. Pauley, 29, of Austell, Ga.; and Pvt. Jhanner A. Tello, 29, of Los Angeles, Calif. About two of them, we know very little. We do know that they were all loved, and that the hour of lead has begun for their families and friends.

Please join me in honoring these fallen service members, and offering condolences to all who mourn their loss.

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I have written many diaries for the "I Got the News Today" series. And the tears still come when I hear stories like this:

...Leah (Rao) had to deliver the bad news. She had received a call from the military saying they wanted to talk to her -- they didn't say why.

Leah immediately called the Hauerkens, and she was still on the line with them when the messengers came.

Sharon Hauerken: "And I said to her: what do you see, what do you see. And she said they're pulling up and there are two men in Class A uniforms and one's carrying a Bible. and I knew."

Dan Hauerken: "Our hearts just totally sunk at that moment because we just knew."

Tonight, we honor the service, and mourn the passing, of Sgt. Elijah J. Rao, 26, of Lake Oswego, Ore. and of the 2nd Battalion, 77th Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo., who was killed by an IED in Afghanistan. Please join me tonight in remembering him.

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Did you run into a comment today that you wanted to rec more than once? Share it with everybody by sending it to Top Comments!

Top Comments is a nightly series that showcases some of the site's best, funniest and most informative comments--as submitted by you!

Anyone can send a nomination. That address is:

TopComments AT gmail DOT com
(change " AT " to "@" and " DOT " to ".")

Please include a link to the comment, a few words about why you sent it in and your user name so we can credit you with the find. Deadline is 9:30 p.m., Eastern. A mailbox full of nominations is a happy mailbox, so if a comment made you laugh, cry or think, feel free to send it to the Top Comments team. Thank you!

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Did you run into a comment today that you wanted to rec more than once? Share it with everybody by sending it to Top Comments!

Top Comments is a nightly series that showcases some of the site's best, funniest and most informative comments--as submitted by you!

Anyone can send a nomination. That address is:

TopComments AT gmail DOT com
(change " AT " to "@" and " DOT " to ".")

Please include a link to the comment, a few words about why you sent it in and your user name so we can credit you with the find. Deadline is 9:30 p.m., Eastern. A mailbox full of nominations is a happy mailbox, so if a comment made you laugh, cry or think, feel free to send it to the Top Comments team. Thank you!

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Wed Nov 25, 2009 at 05:40 PM PST

IGTNT: The Ashes of the Brave

by monkeybiz

Sons of the Dark and Bloody Ground
Ye must not slumber there,
Where stranger steps and tongues resound
Along the heedless air.
Your own proud land's heroic soil
Shall be your fitter grave;
She claims from war his richest spoil --
The ashes of her brave.

--From Theodore O'Hara's "The Bivouac of the Dead"

Three more service members -- Lance Cpl. Nicholas J. Hand, 20, of Kansas City, Mo.; Staff Sgt. John J. Cleaver, 36, of Marysville, Wash.; and Sgt. Daniel A. Frazier, 25, of Saint Joseph, Mich. --have come home, three caskets borne on white-gloved hands, three flags respectfully folded and given into the hands of loved ones. In this week of giving thanks, please take a few moments to remember just how much these three men sacrificed for their nation.

They gave all.

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Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 06:12 PM PST

IGTNT: "He Gave the World His All"

by monkeybiz

Requiem

UNDER the wide and starry sky
 Dig the grave and let me lie:
Glad did I live and gladly die,
 And I laid me down with a will.
 
This be the verse you 'grave for me:        
 Here he lies where he long'd to be;
Home is the sailor, home from the sea,
 And the hunter home from the hill.

                --Robert Louis Stevenson

Three more knocks at the door came this week. The families of three men--Sgt. Benjamin W. Sherman, 21, of Plymouth, Mass.; Staff Sgt. Ryan L. Zorn, 35, of Upton, Wyo.; and U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Brian M. Patton, 37, of Freeport, Illinois and Nanticoke, Pennsylvania--got the news. With the opening of the door came news of the closing of lives. No more cheering for the Red Sox. No more playing Santa for comrades. No more fishing, hunting or playing football under autumn skies.

They died doing what they loved, and still we mourn. Please join me in honoring them tonight.

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Did you run into a comment today that you wanted to rec more than once? Share it with everybody by sending it to Top Comments!

Top Comments is a nightly series that showcases some of the site's best, funniest and most informative comments--as submitted by you!

Anyone can send a nomination. That address is:

TopComments AT gmail DOT com
(change " AT " to "@" and " DOT " to ".")

Please include a link to the comment, a few words about why you sent it in and your user name so we can credit you with the find. Deadline is 9:30 p.m., Eastern. A mailbox full of nominations is a happy mailbox, so if a comment made you laugh, cry or think, feel free to send it to the Top Comments team. Thank you!

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Did you run into a comment today that you wanted to rec more than once? Share it with everybody by sending it to Top Comments!

Top Comments is a nightly series that showcases some of the site's best, funniest and most informative comments--as submitted by you!

Anyone can send a nomination. That address is:

TopComments AT gmail DOT com
(change " AT " to "@" and " DOT " to ".")

Please include a link to the comment, a few words about why you sent it in and your user name so we can credit you with the find. Deadline is 9:30 p.m., Eastern. A mailbox full of nominations is a happy mailbox, so if a comment made you laugh, cry or think, feel free to send it to the Top Comments team. Thank you!

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