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Krishawnda “Kat” Pinney – Near Boise, ID

I came to the intersection where this roadside memorial for Krishawnda “Kat” Pinney, (1985-2003), was erected near sunset after driving aimlessly all day. Horrific things happen at nameless places in the American West. It is something of a tradition.

There are so many details in this photograph that are upsetting but the two that really get to me are the yellow ribbon and the American flag, both tattered by those winds that blow across the entire continent endlessly.

In them I see the declination and angle of the life she chose for herself before it was cut short: Kat most likely was a Private in the Army when she died.

I don’t find it much of a stretch of the imagination to think that she came from a good and loving family with a military history and that they felt compelled to honor her choice. It is something of a tradition.

This death was a tragedy and even now, years after encountering that place, I still can feel its raw sadness cutting through me like that endless American wind.

Copyright 2012 By Katherine Johnson – All Rights Reserved.

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