16 February 2010

A Touching Tribute

You may remember the crash of a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter in Germany earlier this month, which killed all three crew members. Although I did not know any of the occupants personally, I thought that this online tribute to one of the pilots, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Gary M. Farwell, was particularly moving.

The Army Aviation community is a rather close-knit community, yet we find ourselves spread all over the world. Web 2.0 technologies, however, have helped us keep in touch in ways previously unthinkable, allowing old comrades to swap pictures, video and stories with their friends all over the world.

Tragically, the nature of the business is such that Army Aviators, upon hearing of a fatal aircraft crash, will immediately turn on the news or go to sites such as Army Air Crews.com in order to see if one of their friends was involved. After multiple duty stations and deployments, an aviator might have friends in all corners of the world, most of whom are unable to pay their respects in person.

In the last few years, virtual memorial sites have become popular, such as the one for CW3 Farwell. Often consisting of a guestbook, pictures and video--sometimes even a Twitter feed or a Facebook page--it's a touching way for friends all over the world to pay their respects when they are unable to do so in person. CW3 Farwell's site even allows one to donate to a Memorial Trust. It's yet another powerful way in which Web 2.0 has changed the way we interact with one another.

CW3 Farwell was 39 at the time of the crash, and left behind a wife and three children.

(Thanks to Michael Yon for the link)

1 comment:

10mountainmatt said...

This is SGT Farwell, Gary Farwell's brother. Thank you for linking to his memorial site.