"We lost our whole squad that day,"
September 2, 2004 12:16 AM   Subscribe

Echo Company An emotionally trying account of an ambush in Iraq this past April that took the lives of twelve Americans and who knows how many Iraqis, from two journalists who were there. Included is a timeline, audio & video, photogalleries, and reactions from the friends and family they left behind. You can read a USMC account of the memorial service here. via Editor & Publisher [Flash/Real]
posted by trondant (10 comments total)
That was horrific. Interminable drivel about waffles and strawberries and American football. I've no idea about what happened to the Marines - the first page of their story made sure I didn't read any further. The flash didn't do them any favours either.
posted by biffa at 3:06 AM on September 2, 2004

I read further. This is what reporting should be. Excellent post, trondant.
posted by y2karl at 7:24 AM on September 2, 2004

I'm with Biffa on this one -- the human-interest background gets a little thick at times. Ernie Pyle this ain't. But I did get a sense of what the combat is like -- lots of lead flying everywhere, confusion, blood, pain, anger, frustration and loss. That part made it through, loud and clear.
posted by alumshubby at 7:57 AM on September 2, 2004

The original article with much less "human interest" than the above link. Login mefi@spam.com password 1metafilter. Its a riveting read.

On preview: calling a few words about the background of marines killed in the line of duty "human interest" may be accurate but it does seem shallow.
posted by keithl at 8:25 AM on September 2, 2004

I wish the major news outlets took the small amount of time necessary to give a human face to the casualty lists like this article does.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:08 AM on September 2, 2004

"A few words" would be one thing but sentence after sentence after sentence is distracting and gratuitous. I thought this was supposed to be a story about a firefight, not a series of thumbnail biographies. I don't think it's shallow to point out that the writing seems to be working at cross purposes editorially.
posted by alumshubby at 9:19 AM on September 2, 2004

This story becomes compelling when you dig deeper.

The story is written for the marines, and the "ernie pile" effect comes from the editing of the threads. It is not a great piece by itself. It's more compelling the further you read. You'll feel it.
posted by xtian at 10:29 AM on September 2, 2004

I agree - cut through the blah and it's a powerful, human story. Leave your politics at home and make the effort.
posted by chrid at 1:24 PM on September 2, 2004

I wish the major news outlets took the small amount of time necessary to give a human face to the casualty lists like this article does.

I've noticed since I've moved down here, that the Chicago Tribune does a "human face" story (some times very lengthy) on page A3 when ever a Solider, Sailor or Marine from Illinois dies.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 5:18 PM on September 2, 2004

The story itself is available without registration through a link at the bottom of the page. I agree the story is more about the soldiers -- the human interest -- than the action itself.

Reporter Joe Galloway (who wrote this article with photographer David Swanson) was co-author of We Were Soldiers Once, and Young. He wasn't just a credited ghostwriter; he was in that 1964 battle as a combat correspondent.
posted by dhartung at 9:31 PM on September 2, 2004

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