2nd Lt. James L. Cathey


Heisler, Todd and The Rocky Mountain News




Winner of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize in Feature Photography, “2nd Lt. James L. Cathey” depicts Lt. James Cathey's body arriving at the Reno Airport soon after his death in Iraq. In the photograph, marines climb into the cargo hold of the plane and drape an American flag over his casket as passengers watch the lieutenant's family gather on the tarmac. This photograph offers an opportunity to reflect upon civic responsibility and leadership in a uniquely American context.

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Crisis and ConflictJustice and EqualityLeadership and ResponsibilityServing and VolunteeringSocial and Political Change

Big Questions

Sample Discussion Questions

  1. As literally as possible, how would you describe what is happening in the image?
  2. What do you think the passengers on the airplane are thinking? What/who are they watching and why?
  3. What, if anything, is challenging or troubling about this image? Why?
  4. What is one question that this image provokes?
  5. Where do you see responsibility in this image? Where do you see leadership?
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