August 31, 2009

Wife's wishes: Share your stories

There are official dates and data, medals and certificates to mark the life and death of a Marine who followed his convictions to a place he did not have to be.

But Rene E. Browne knows the power of story, acknowledging the gifts given by friends, family, acquaintances and colleagues of Bill Cahir, the former Newhouse Newspapers Washington DC correspondent who was killed Aug. 13 in Afghanistan. Her statement included:
"From across the globe, the shared prayers, tributes and stories have meant so much and will keep Bill's memory alive for all of us. .... I am blessed for the years that we spent together and for the stories that I will be able to share with our children of Bill's ideals, bravery, love and compassion."
She is expecting twins in December, just weeks after Bill was to return from his third tour of duty.

Carl M. Cannon, a senior Washington correspondent for, says Rene asked for letters of remembrances of the 40-year-old Marine with the "soul of a journalist" who joined the reserves later then most people do.

Cannon published his letter to the unborn twins on Aug. 31, the day Cahir was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Cannon shared his admiration for the response of New Jersey senator, Robert Menendez, who Bill covered, to the death. Equally touching, though, is Cannon's accounting of "The Best We Had to Give" clippings collection. The clippings give depth to the numbers through stories.

Rene's statement on, includes a reminder of the right thing to do:

"Bill would also be grateful to see that his story helped to raise awareness of the untold sacrifices of the men and women serving their country around the world today. It is their sense of duty and patriotism that inspired Bill to serve and will be the legacy of honor and commitment that he leaves to our children, and to the rest of us."
By the way, NPR filed a report on Cahir I enjoyed. The Washington Post posted a photo of a Marine presenting a flag to Browne that I really like. There's also a memorial fund set up via Democracy in Action.that (There's a photo gallery.)

There's a Purple Heart coming and Chris Matthews did a segment on'Hardball

I wrote about Cahir in Passion drove former Newhouse reporter. and I pray every day that my nephew who just left on his tour of duty returns. It's a practice I intensived after reading Sadly, now I know his first name.


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