Mother, father, wife, sister.





April 9th editorial by the Rochester Post-Bulletin:



It's easy for some of us to forget that the United States is at war. Iraq and Afghanistan are thousands of miles from southeastern Minnesota, and if you scan the front pages of the nation's top newspapers on any given day, there's a better than 50-50 chance that you'll find nothing about our troops.

But they're still fighting to defend our freedoms. And there are mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, sons and daughters in southeastern Minnesota who wake up every morning wondering where their loved ones are, what they are doing and when they'll be coming home.

That kind of uncertainty is difficult, but it pales in comparison with what the family of Lance Cpl. Curtis Swenson is going through. One week ago, two Marines arrived at the family's home in southeast Rochester, bringing with them the terrible news that Swenson, a 2007 Mayo High School graduate, had been killed in action in Afghanistan.

We won't repeat all of the well-deserved accolades that Swenson is receiving. Clearly, he was a fine young man, a good Marine and a true patriot.

Today, however, we choose to honor his family, which has handled this devastating event with incredible grace and quiet dignity.

We can't claim to truly know Kay and Dave Swenson, but they've allowed the public to share in their grief. It might have been easier to say "Respect our privacy," but instead they've let Rochester embrace them and the memory of their son. They've thanked the thousands of people who've left tributes to Curtis on Facebook, and they even sent a note of gratitude to the Post-Bulletin for our coverage.

In that letter, Dave expressed his hope that the praise his son is receiving will help keep peoples' thoughts and prayers focused on the young men and women who are fighting, and in some cases dying, to make our world a better place. "They are all the true heroes," he wrote.

He's right. And most of us probably know a family or two with ties to someone who is serving overseas. Don't be afraid to ask them how their son or daughter is doing. Get an e-mail address and send them a note. Better yet, ask the parents where to send a care package.

Thoughtful expressions like these might be the best tribute we can pay to heroes like Lance Cpl. Curtis Swenson.










Arrival at Rochester International Airport


Flagline portraits


Visitation at Bethel Lutheran Church






Funeral at Bethel Lutheran Church


Flagline portraits


Cemetery at Houston Lutheran Church











Album                    839 Photos



Airport 1                                106


Airport 2                                106


Friday portraits                      83


Visitation                               21


Funeral 1                               82


Funeral 2                               83


Saturday portraits 1               85


Saturday portraits 2               84


Cemetery 1                            95


Cemetery 2                            94