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'War Diaries' Exhibit Featuring McLaughlin '09 Opens at BC Law Oct. 28

2013 news archive


Newton, MA--The Boston College Law Library is pleased to announce a new exhibit, Invasion: Diaries and Memories of War in Iraq, which features the remarkable war diaries of Marine Lt. Timothy McLaughlin ’09, along with texts by Peter Maass and photographs by Gary Knight. Invasion will be on display in the library from October 28 through the month of November.

A panel discussion featuring the three contributors will take place on November 5, 2013 in the Law School’s East Wing Room 120 at 6:30 p.m. The exhibit and the panel discussion on November 5 are sponsored by law firm Holland & Knight.

The multimedia exhibit was conceived and designed by photographer Knight and Maass, and breaks new ground in documentary storytelling, presenting three different experiences of the invasion of Iraq from within the same unit. Knight and Maass reported on the battles fought by McLaughlin’s battalion as it approached Baghdad. Knight’s photographs were featured in Newsweek, while Maass’s stories were published in The New York Times Magazine and the New Yorker.

The exhibit displays an innovative grid of 36 pages from McLaughlin’s diaries, each page blown up to poster-size, along with Knight’s haunting images and Maass’s stories. The grid, which includes pictures, maps and poems, operates as a text about war and also an artwork about war. McLaughlin was at the Pentagon on 9/11, commanded a tip-of-the-spear tank during the invasion of Iraq, and his American flag was draped on a statue of Saddam Hussein at Firdos Square when Marines entered Baghdad. In the pages, McLaughlin writes of stumbling through the smoke-filled Pentagon after it was attacked, of the Iraqis shot and killed by his tank’s guns in 2003, and of the chaos when his flag was placed on the statue in front of a global television audience.

The exhibit will also display personal possessions of McLaughlin. On select days, the American flag that was briefly draped on the statue of Saddam Hussein will be displayed as a part of the exhibit.

“We hope this exhibit brings people back to the invasion and shows them, directly and without the usual filters of the government or the press, what the invasion truly consisted of,” the three contributors said in a joint statement. ”After ten years, we feel it is time for a thoughtful examination of the war before it is forgotten or romanticized.”

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