Friday, February 8, 2008
Photo Surfaces 63 Years After Pyle's Death
The figure in the photograph is clad in Army fatigues, boots and helmet, lying on his back in peaceful repose, folded hands holding a military cap. Except for a thin trickle of blood from the corner of his mouth, he could be asleep. But he is not asleep, he is dead. And this is not just another fallen GI; it is Ernie Pyle, the most celebrated war correspondent of World War II. As far as can be determined, the photograph has never been published. It is a striking and painful image,, but Ernie Pyle wanted people to see and understand the sacrifices that soldiers had to make, so it is fitting, in a way, that this photo of his own death drives home the reality and the finality of that sacrifice.The negative is long lost and only a few prints are known to exist.