Life and Death Memories

There is irrefutable evidence that the government of Syria has used chemical weapons to murder its own citizens. The wrapped corpses of children provide grisly testimony that President Bashar al-Assad, following the horrific precedent set by his father, will rank high among the most odious political murderers of the past century. Such photographs trigger memories. During my boyhood years, before television, my visual images of World War II came with the weekly arrival of Life magazine, whose pages I eagerly turned to expand the narrow boundaries of Forest Hills, Queens. Life riveted my attention with battle photos from the D-Day invasion and the iconic raising of the American flag at Iwo Jima. Nor could I forget the sorrowful photograph of a Negro naval petty officer, with tears streaming down his face while he played "Goin' Home" on his accordion as Franklin D. Roosevelt's flag-draped casket left Warm Springs for Washington. But by far the most stunning Life photographs arrived in...(Read Full Article)