Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Minnesota Marine Honors 35W Bridge Collapse Victims

A Minnesota Marine paid special tribute to the victims of the 35W bridge collapse, even when he was halfway across the world. 1st Lieutenant Nathan (he asks that we not use his last name because of his mission) was serving in Iraq when the 35W bridge collapsed. Immediately he knew he wanted to honor the victims. "I flew a flag all day, one flag for each family that lost a loved one," said Nathan. On Monday, Nathan met the 13 families of the collapse victims and handed out the 13 flags he flew in Iraq. "It’s very moving, here somebody has lost a loved one and yet they’re thanking me for something very small," said Nathan. For the victims’ families, the Marine’s compassion was overwhelming. "The fact that he would do this with everything he's going through just tells you what type of people Americans are," said one of Christina Sacorafas' relatives Bill Dentinger.Each flag was identical, but what will be done with each of them differs for each family. Lisa Jolstad said she’d hold hers close as a reminder of her late husband Greg. "I don't know about unfolding it. I might just leave it like this and display it. I’m not quite sure, but it really means a lot," said Jolstad. Hal Eiskstadt, whose brother Paul died while driving a truck over the bridge, said his flag would rotate among Paul’s three siblings. "It'll be a family heirloom and something that reminds us of Paul and reminds us of Nathan and what a great thing he did," said Eiskstadt. Nathan served two tours in Iraq. He hopes the flags will serve as symbols of hope and love for the grieving families.