Shots of War: The Last Battle
Nearby cases display ration books for fuel and food. A poster proclaiming "Win with Tin!" shows a shapely high heel crushing a can for recycling. Another era's evidence of national sacrifice and mindfulness about the hardship of war raises dark questions about why no one is planting Victory Gardens now a scrapbook about the gardens contains a picture of a dead GI and demands, "What have you done for freedom today?"
A list of the 282 Washtenaw County World War II dead, from Frank Acree to Harold Zulz, answers that question.
One Vaccaro photo shows a fellow soldier at the moment of his death. He's running, and both feet are off the ground as he curls to one side from the impact. There's a curious shape in the photo just beyond his twisted body that may be the death bullet. Blurry, the photo of a writhing soldier suspended in air suggests a soul unwillingly leaving the earth.
[Originally published in October, 2004.]