The Iraq war has claimed at least 4,000 American lives, according to the Associated Press. One of those Americans — Maj. Alan Greg Rogers — was killed in January.
Rogers' cousin, Cathy Long, and best friend, Shay Hill, gathered with other extended family earlier this month to bury him at Arlington National Cemetery.
About 200 people went to the burial — soldiers and civilians alike. They went even though it was far from Rogers' hometown in Florida. They went even though Rogers had no immediate family. Years before Rogers was killed by a bomb in Baghdad, he buried both of his parents. They were a childless couple who had adopted him at the age of 5.
Rogers had no wife or child to take away the flag that draped his coffin, so soldiers folded the flag and gave it to his cousin.
Long took the flag to the Washington bed and breakfast where she was spending the night, and late that afternoon, she welcomed Rogers' distant relatives and friends in the backyard.