Kurt Pitzer on Confronting Death in the Field

Kurt Pitzer tackles the terrible responsibility of accounting for the fallen.
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TRANSCRIPT

Pitzer:    You see a lot of corpses and dead people while covering war, and it’s, you know… You never become accustomed to it.  It’s never something that is not shocking.  And it’s always personal, because you can’t just sort of push it away that somebody else… It’s a faraway culture. This is a place I’m covering.  It doesn’t…  It’s just something that I’m writing about.  You know, it is personal.  You’re there.  And often, you’re there with people who knew the people who have been killed, you know?  And I’ve had people hand me the bones of their family members, trying to give me, you know, teach me something about their fallen family members, or burned and dead and executed family members, you know, trying to make that connection.  If you hold my father’s bone, you will understand him and be able to tell his story.  And it’s a terrible, it’s a terrible responsibility, but one that you’re there, and that’s why you’re there, and you have to sort of try to rise to it.