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Feb 25, 2007

Photo Essay: The Return. The Heartache.








Lee Roy Camacho's remains arrived Friday afternoon and the seemed scorching hot afternoon froze the rest of the day especially inside the reception hall of the Saipan airport, where hundreds of family members waited for Lee Roy. It was once again heart-rending and nerve-wracking moment seeing the family of Lee Roy waited silently crying on their seats.

His mom and wife Velma were staring at a blank probably anxious to finally hold once again the body of their loved one. What broke my heart was when body finally reached Saipan onboard a US Airforce 747 plane and the family members dashed outside to get a personal glimpse of the aircraft. They held hands as they watched the plane curbed to the side. The Military plane looked so majestic from afar as it got a washdown from two fire trucks as a ceremony.

When the Military representatives from Guam and Hawaii brought the brown casket draped with the American flag inside the reception hall, the sons of Lee Roy suddenly burst into tears and their mom, Velma, held the boys to her trying to comfort them. It was totally heart breaking. I thought these little boys wouldn't be that emotional because they are so young, but i was mistaken. The three boys lost their father.

Lee Roy's brother Alfred who was in Military suit ushered his mother and Velma to get close to the casket, the mom and Velma just sobbed vehemently and buried their faces onto the casket. The background music rendered by 30-year ukulele player Emi Palican just made it more difficult for all of us to breathe. My heart just melted. This should not have been happening, I thought to myself.

The relatives were given also a chance to join the mom and Velma and hold the casket. One relative fainted and collapsed. It was so devastating to see them.

The price for freedom and democracy. Are the lives of many being lost an advantage to many that survive? Will it always be the case? Ask the family that lost their loved ones due to this.


The Reveler
Photo: Tacder

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

touching words..heart wrenching photos...

Jaime R. said...

February 21, 2007

Mrs. Velma M. Camacho
Saipan, CNMI

Dear Mrs. Camacho:

We address this letter to you as the wife of LEE ROY A. CAMACHO, and through you, your children, Lee Roy, Jr., Layton, Leven Joe, and your in-laws Jose R. and Maria A. Camacho.

Mr. Lee Roy A. Camacho was a graduate of San Vicente Elementary School, and today, Wednesday, February 21, 2007, we are stringing yellow ribbons along our school fence facing the Isa Drive Highway in his honor. We also remember him through a papered green board in our new Cafetoreum with his name surrounded by hearts that were used during our “We Care Day” last February 14. Lee Roy cared for us and his country.

The wages of war are very often paid for dearly by the young, in this case, the life of your husband, and with your profound grief as well as those of your three young children. Lee Roy is also a considerable loss to his parents. Certainly, Lee Roy Camacho lived his life and died his death as the single, only one of a kind, unrepeatable gift of life into human history, of whom there has never been one like him before, and there will never be another one like him ever again. The completion of his life, ever mysterious as the day he was born, and ever awesome as the days that he lived, comes to plumb the depth of our despair, yet in his very uniqueness, we nevertheless dare to celebrate his gracious and glorious expenditure of himself for the sake of his nation.

We join you, your children and his parents as we stand present to the journey of his life, and honor the uncommon valor before which his breath had been taken away. We join you in remembering that the light of life far outshines the shadows of death. May the memories of joy abide with you even as Lee Roy returns to you in silence.

For the San Vicente Elementary School, we remain most sincerely yours,




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