Monday, 22 March 2010

Ashley Gilbertson: Bedrooms of the Fallen

The New York Times Sunday Magazine has featured The Shrine Down The Hall: Bedrooms of America's Young War Dead, a powerful photo essay in slideshow format by photographer Ashey Gilbertson (VII Network), which looks at some of the empty bedrooms of the over 5000 U.S. military personnel killed in the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Dexter Filkins starts his accompanying article with the words "Just kids". The ages of these military fallen range from 19 to 25...indeed, just kids.

George McGovern in 1969 speaking about Vietnam said:

"I'm fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in".

Now of course, it's also women who die in combat, as indeed Karina Lau did. Her bedroom still has a stuffed teddy bear and floppy-eared rabbit on top of her floral bedspread. She was killed seven years ago when insurgents shot down her helicopter in Falluja, Iraq. She was 20 years old.

In my view, this slideshow should be mandatory viewing by every politician who supported our senseless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I just read that George W. Bush is visiting Haiti. How about visiting these bedrooms first?