December 31, 2008


This is a repost of a blog post from August 2008. It is being posted here as a part of The Best Of - 2008.

Some Gave All:

NOTR of the blog ROFASix reminds us to Never Forget that Some Gave All and posts a picture of a grieving fiancé Mary McHugh lying on her stomach in front of the grave of her late fiancé, James Regan, who was killed in Iraq this February by a roadside bomb. The photo taken by Getty Images photographer John Moore has sparked quite a controversy, some called it an intrusion into a private matter others claimed it was a bitter reminder of the sacrifice some families give during war.

Before I post the picture I want to tell you a little more about Sergeant James Regan.

Sergeant James J. Regan, 26, of Manhasset, New York, died February 9, 2007, in northern Iraq of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle while on combat patrol. Regan was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Benning, Georgia.

(Courtesy of the New York Daily News via Arlington National Cemetery Website)
In August 2003, Jimmy Regan was coaching at a lacrosse camp, on his way to law school after giving up his lucrative first job on Wall Street. Then he surprised people by enlisting in the Army.

His friends assumed he would apply for officer training school, but Regan told his friends, ''You know, with my economics degree from Duke, they won't let me be in the Rangers.''

He went exactly where he wanted to go, first through the rigorous training of a Ranger, then to the dangers of Afghanistan -- twice -- and Iraq -- twice. Yesterday, Jimmy Regan, who was killed February 9, 2007, at 26 by a bomb in Iraq, was honored by family, friends and teammates as the ultimate team man.

He had all the perks of a star athlete from the North Shore suburbs who did not have to go anywhere near the military. But something called him into the Ranger uniform, after wearing lacrosse and football uniforms at Chaminade High and a lacrosse uniform at Duke University.
''It was sort of a surprise to all of us,'' said Cassese, who flew up from Durham to attend the wake Thursday. ''He sent us an e-mail, saying: 'This is what I have to do. Hopefully everybody will support me.' We're still thinking about what pushes a man or a woman to this higher calling.'' Regan was mourned on a day the House of Representatives voted, 246-182, to denounce the government's plan to send more American troops to Iraq. His father, James P. Regan, has been quoted as saying that criticism of the Iraq war undermines the troops over there, but yesterday at the funeral, he discussed his ''initial misgivings'' about his son's choice.

''The ultimate sacrifice flashed through our minds,'' he said with his wife, Mary R. Regan, sitting in the front row. ''His mother has had part of her heart ripped out.'' James Regan said he would have to live without ''my best friend,'' but he praised ''Jimmy, the team player'' and called his son ''a warrior.''

Regan's sisters, Maribeth, Colleen and Michaela, and his fiancée, Mary McHugh, listened to these tributes. Dan Chemotti described the look of sheer hatred between him and Jimmy before the opening face-off in a high school game. Later, they were teammates at Duke, where Regan turned their apartment into what Chemotti could only liken to a primitive Ranger obstacle course -- broken glass and all.

Rob Hotarek, Regan's best friend since grade school, and Richard Crawford, a friend in the Rangers, spoke of a young man who could be a cut-up and a late riser, but who also contained a faith and a purpose.

''He wanted to serve his country rather than himself,'' said the Rev. James C. Williams, the president of Chaminade, who taught Regan in high school.

The crowd in Manhasset made it clear that Jimmy Regan was part of a large and loyal team.
Moore says of the photo “After so much time covering these wars, I have some difficult memories and have seen some of the worst a person can see -- so much hatred and rage, so much despair and sadness. All that destruction, so much killing. And now, one beautiful and terribly sad spring afternoon amongst the rows and rows of marble stones -- a young woman's lost love. I felt I owed the Arlington National Cemetery a little time -- and I think I still do.
Maybe we all do."

And now the photo:

Getty Images photographer John Moore

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