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Photographer's notebook: Ceremony for a fallen soldier - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Photographer's notebook: Ceremony for a fallen soldier

Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan - August 6, 2010

I was given the honor to attend the Ramp Ceremony for New Zealand Army 1st Lt. Timothy O'Donnell who was killed in action August 3, 2010. New Zealand is a member nation of the coalition forces fighting the insurgency in Afghanistan. The New Zealand soldier was assigned to the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team in the Bamyan Province which is attached to the Vermont National Guard's 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Mountain), Task Force Wolverine.

Under a spectacular sunrise silhouetted by the Hindu Kush Mountains, a New Zealand Army honor guard carried 1st Lt. O'Donnell's remains onto a C-17 aircraft. The procession included a Maori Warrior Sword Dance as a bagpiper played Holy, Holy, Holy.

Approximately 200 military service men and women paid their respects to 1st Lt. O'Donnell by observing the Ramp Ceremony. Most of those in attendance were members of the Vermont National Guard currently living and working at Bagram Airfield, as they fulfill their deployment assignments.

Still and video images created by military personnel at the ceremony will be provided to the immediate family and will not be released to the public.

For a complete biography of 1st Lt. O'Donnell, click here.

Lance MacKenzie - WCAX Photojournalist

*Lt. Timothy O'Donnell was killed in an ambush. His death was New Zealand's first combat death in Afghanistan. Two other soldiers were wounded in the same attack. Click here for more that.

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