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Marine In Saipan

In late 2012, while watching the Ken Burns PBS Special “The War”, I am drawn in by the eyes of a Marine in one of the lead-in photographs introducing the show. The face is fierce, the glance is piercing. So much so that I know this has to be my first tapestry subject.

What I found was an even more sobering story, one that explains the perceived numbness I detected when I first saw that glance.  The image I saw on TV is only a small portion of a much larger photograph.  This young man with the serious eyes is a stretcher bearer, who with three others is carrying the remains of a fallen Marine tagged for burial. Visible on the stretcher itself, under a heavy cloth cover, are the soles of a downturned pair of boots, a small white tag tied to a shoelace no doubt bearing his name, rank, serial number; important details that will get him to his final destination.  How must these Marines have felt given the task they were charged with of sending this fallen comrade home?

Armed with the right photograph, my Mirrix Loom, the BeadTool4 software, needles, thread, and a few other necessities, I set about creating my first Thankful Generations tapestry.

Though it took a bit of research, I was able to track down the photograph through the PBS website on “The War”. It is identified as a National Archives photograph from 1944 of Marines in Saipan (127-GR-113-83414). This series is well worth the investment in time, if you have a desire to learn more about WWII. Follow this LINK for more information.

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