**Updated below fold**Lifestyle magazine, a publication that serves Pennsylvania's Delaware Valley area, published a nice story this week reporting how a long awaited veteran's cemetery is finally underway in Buck's County, Penn. Oh, the story seems nice enough, but there is one problem. The photo accompanying the story shows a soldier, circa WWII, in near silhouette trotting across a wintry field, rifle in hand. That there is a photo of a soldier from WWII tacked onto a story about a new veteran's cemetery isn't the problem. The problem is that the photo is of a Nazi German soldier from WWII and NOT an American soldier! This is a shocking mistake that reveals many things about the folks at Lifestyle Magazine.
Why is a story about an American veteran's cemetery being illustrated by a photo of a Nazi solder? The answer can only be that the folks at Lifestyle magazine are so unfamiliar with anything military that the glaring mistake went completely unrecognized by its Editors and designers.
Even the first paragraphs of the story are a bit odd. A story about the final resting place of our honored veterans is begun with two paragraphs about a Kris Kristofferson song!
“Caught in the action of kill or be killed, no greater love hath a man than to lay down his life for his brother.” These were the words that singer Kris Kristofferson said in his opening to the song by country music artists, Big & Rich entitled, “The Eighth of November.”
It was a ballad about a Vietnam veteran, Niles Harris, whom the two singers met in a bar, and they were so taken with his personal story of bravery and heroism they wrote a song in his honor.
Now, it seems to me that this is a rather flippant way to start a story about honoring our vets. Using an explanation of a pop song just seems so trivial when juxtaposed against the sacrifices of our military men in battle and the deserved construction of a suitable final resting place when they pass from this mortal coil.
I don't know about you but I would not have started this story off with talk of Kris Kristofferson.
Still, the rest of this article is not so bad. But the glaring error of using a photo of a Nazi soldier when talking about our veterans is unforgivable here and the less than serious talk about a Kris Kristofferson song to kick the story off didn't help much either. It all adds up to a magazine entering into unfamiliar territory; the military.
And, that is the saddest thing of all. That the folks at Lifestyle magazine are so out of their depth when discussing the U.S. military that they cannot tell the difference between a photo of a Nazi soldier and an American is outrageous. But it seems to be a mark of our times when folks in the media haven't the slightest clue about our military and its history. It's horrendous that they are so sloppy with their work that they don't even know what an American soldier looks like but it is a situation that has sadly come to be expected of the media.
One last thing to show how ignorant the editors and writers at Lifestyle magazine are. Witness this line in the story (my emphasis)...
Currently, there are only three national veteran’s cemeteries in Pennsylvania. There is one near Pittsburgh, another northeast of Harrisburg, and the third, which is not taking any new internments, in Philadelphia.
Dear, dear editors of Lifestyle magazine. Cemeteries take interments NOT "internments"!!
**Update** 11AM 01/14/08
Well, there is a reason that I made a screen capture of the original picture that accompanies my article here. The photo on the Lifestyle website has now been changed to show American soldiers. Mysteriously, no correction notice or apology was made. The picture was just changed with no word about it.