Gripping Photos of Fallen Soldiers’ Bedrooms

A photographer’s images of domestic tranquility pay tribute to U.S. service members

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Marine Cpl. Nicholas G. Xiarhos

The bedroom of Marine Cpl. Nicholas G. Xiarhos of Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts. Xiarhos died at age 21 in Afghanistan in 2009. Ashley Gilbertson has photographed 43 such rooms, in the United States and other NATO nations, and he is seeking more. "It's a way of connecting with who they were," says Gilbertson, who covered the Iraq war as a photojournalist for six years. His project is a kind of continual Memorial Day observance. For the parents, especially, he says, "it's important that their son or daughter is not forgotten."

About T.A. Frail
T.A. Frail

Tom Frail is a senior editor for Smithsonian magazine. He previously worked as a senior editor for the Washington Post and for Philadelphia Newspapers Inc.

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