Nick Zangara was 21-years-old in 2004 when a makeshift bomb exploded near his convoy in Tikrit, 90 miles northwest of Baghdad and a universe from his home in Northeast Philadelphia.
The George Washington High School graduate is one of at least 16 people from Philadelphia who have been killed in Middle Eastern military conflicts this decade, according to a new Google Earth layer called “Map the Fallen.”
“This Memorial Day I would like to share with you a personal project of mine that uses Google Earth to honor the more than 5,700 American and Coalition servicemen and women that have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan,” writes Sean Askay, the layer’s creator. “I have created a map for Google Earth that will connect you with each of their stories, you can see photos, learn about how they died, visit memorial Web sites with comments from friends and families, and explore the places they called home and where they died.”
The layer creates a direct line from each service member’s hometown and his or her place of death. It works on a timeline system, showing each U.S. and coalition troop death chronologically, dating back to the first in Afghanistan on October 10, 2001. Users can search fallen service members by name, age, gender, hometown or location of death.
The 16 Philadelphians who have died range in age from 20 to 36 — Nick Zangara being among the youngest.
A Zangara Memorial Fund was created, though a listed e-mail was no longer functioning.
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