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A True Valentine

MFN Staff Reporter

First Place Photo: When 2nd Lt James Cathey's body arrived at the Reno Airport, Marines climbed into the cargo hold of the plane and draped the flag over his casket as passengers watched the family gather on the tarmac. During the arrival of another Marine's casket last year at Denver International Airport , Major Steve Beck described the scene as so powerful: 'See the people in the windows? They sat right there in the plane, watching those Marines. You gotta wonder what's going through their minds, knowing that they're on the plane that brought him home,' he said 'They will remember being on that plane for the rest of their lives. They're going to remember bringing that Marine home. And they should.'-- Todd Heisler, The Rocky Mountain News

Second Place Photo: The night before the burial of her husband's body, Katherine Cathey refused to leave the casket, asking to sleep next to his body for the last time. The Marines made a bed for her, tucking in the sheets below the flag. Before she fell asleep, she opened her laptop computer and played songs that reminded her of 'Cat,' and one of the Marines asked if she wanted them to continue standing watch as she slept. 'I think it would be kind of nice if you kept doing it,' she said. 'I think that's what he would have wanted.'-- Todd Heisler, The Rocky Mountain News

When Todd Heisler of The Rocky Mountain News took this photo of 2nd Lt. James Cathey coming home, did he know that he would be capturing First Place as the International Picture of the Year? And even more so, did the photographer know that he would be documenting one of the world’s greatest love stories through his art?

As we take a moment to cherish our loved ones this Valentine’s Day, be grateful for the special people in your life. Mr. Heisler’s photo reminds us all too well how unpredictable life can be and how precious our time is together. Try harder to be kinder, more patient and to never take your love for granted. Every day should be a celebration of love; every day should be Valentine’s Day.

And, while you reflect on the matters of your heart, remember to say a prayer for 2nd Lt. Cathey, his wife, Katherine and all of our Fallen and their loved ones. May they be comforted by the warmth of beautiful memories and know that their sacrifice is not forgotten.

Thank you, Mr. Heisler, for reminding us about our priorities and for giving us this wonderful tribute.

For more information on these photos and other photos with this contest please go to www.poyi.org.

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