Posted by: Chris Kretz | June 27, 2009

In the World: Life Magazine and the Faces of American Dead

Friday, June 27, 1969

The current issue of Life magazine featured a cover story entitled “The Faces of the American Dead in Vietnam: One Week’s Toll.” The story included the names of the 242 Americans who had died in Vietnam the previous week, along with photographs and excerpts of their letters.

In the introduction to the piece, the magazine wrote:

…in a time when the numbers of Americans killed in this war – 36,000 – though far less than the Vietnamese losses,  have exceeded the dead in the Korean War, when the nation continues week after week to be numbed by a three-digit statistic which is translated to direct anguish in hundreds of homes all over the country, we must pause to look into the faces. More than we must know how many, we must know who. The faces of one week’s dead, unknown but to families and friends, are suddenly recognized by all in this gallery of young American eyes….

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