A memorial day retrospective

The brutal serendipity of war.

On the New York Times’ At War blog, James Dao writes about a May 30, 2007 crash that claimed seven coalition lives, and almost a reporter as well.

Alex Quade, a freelance television reporter, was supposed to be on that helicopter, covering a battalion-size air assault mission involving troops from the Seventh Special Forces Group, the First Battalion, the 508th Parachute Infantry Battalion and the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade. But at the last minute, Ms. Quade lost her seat to the British and Canadian soldiers, who were public affairs officers for their respective militaries. She survived to report firsthand on the recovery efforts, which included a fierce firefight, and she subsequently interviewed pilots who reported seeing a missile streaking into the sky and striking the Chinook.

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