This post started out like so many others, just a simple heads up about something new that CNN.com had added to its already extensive archives. But after taking some time to look through the newest addition I must say I'm not only blown away but the volume of work that went into this but also very moved by the touching tribute....and its timeliness. Please take a few minutes this Memorial Day weekend and navigate through the site as a way of honoring and paying tribute to those who have sacrificed their lives to protect our freedom.
Continuing to develop innovative ways to present its audience with news and information, CNN is combining the unparalleled strengths of its on-air and online platforms to honor every Coalition Forces casualty in Afghanistan and Iraq.
CNN.com has launched “Home and Away,” an immersive interactive which allows users to learn about and pay tribute to more than 6,000 fallen troops from more than 20 countries.
“Each of these casualties has an inspiring and moving story, and we wanted to find an exceptional way to honor the sacrifice every single one of them made,” said Susan Grant, executive vice president of CNN News Services. “We hope ‘Home and Away’ serves as an enduring memorial for those that made the ultimate sacrifice while also helping the CNN audience more personally connect with this deeply complex topic.”
“We were so moved by the powerful stories of these service members and those who loved them along the way,” said Michelle Jaconi, Executive Producer, John King, USA. “Our CNN.com colleagues have created a powerful tool that allows us to more deeply engage with our viewers, connecting them to personal tributes from the fallen's family and friends."
This extensive data visualization project began nearly 10 years ago at the start of the war in Afghanistan. A cross-divisional effort between the CNN Library and CNN.com, a team of researchers, producers, designers, user-experience specialists and developers have gathered information about the casualties of the wars. Evolving from two separate lists of casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq, “Home and Away” tells the story of where and how the lives of these troops began and ended, and is continually enhanced with personal memories from family and friends.
Users can search for casualties across several different criteria, including last name, age hometown, location of death and date of death. More detail about the life of each casualty is featured on a personal memorial page, as well as memories from family and friends shared through iReport, CNN’s user-generated news community. Users may share iReport tributes for any service member directly from their memorial page.
There are interactive maps of the US that list fatalities in both Afghanistan and Iraq. As you move your cursor over the States names of those who have passed are shown.
Here's the map for those that have died in Afghanistan:
And for those who lost their lives in Iraq:
There are also interactive maps of Afghanistan and Iraq that illustrate how many lives were lost in which districts/regions of the country.
Again, I urge you to take some time and navigate through 'Home and Away'. I don't think you will regret it. Have a safe Memorial Day weekend.