Sunday, September 10, 2006

part of the title of the courant article is

marines don't cry

if they don't on the outside, i think they do on the inside

On The Ground With Charlie Company: Arlington National Cemetery Stoic In Devotion `Marines Don't Cry'
By JESSE HAMILTON Courant Staff Writer September 10 2006 ARLINGTON, Va. -- Marines don't smile.It's strength they want to show now, as they stand in this field of white marble markers. Strength for Cpl. Jordan Pierson. Strength for his family. Utterly unruffled.So they watch without expression as their friend's casket is prepared for the grave. They stand, their mirror-polished shoes on Arlington National Cemetery grass, the brass buttons on their dress blues shining, each face a solemn mask. The way they were taught."Marines don't smile," one of the Marines from Charlie Company had said that morning at the hotel.Not that there's any cause to smile here, in one of the country's most somber places, where markers bearing the names of the latest conflicts have filled new swaths of land in the five years since 9/11. The Marines stand behind a crowd from Connecticut and greet the rifle volleys with stoic faces. They don't flinch at the 24 notes of taps, which wrench a fresh round of sobs from Pierson's friends and family.Most of the Marines in the group volunteered to drive more than 300 miles for this hourlong ceremony. They didn't have to be here. But it was an easy choice. Of course they want to see this to the end. Pierson deserves it.So, these Marine reservists from the Plainville-based unit - most of them kept back from the company's deployment to Iraq for medical reasons - stand as symbols and reminders for Pierson's people. This is what Pierson was, their quiet presence shouts. He was part of something serious and had won a place in a fraternity that makes a try at transcending death.The Marines, who don't smile.But of course, they do............

connecticut's war dead

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