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A display of sympathy

Reporters on the Job: When I arrived near the Massereene Barracks in Northern Ireland where two British soldiers were killed (read the Monitor's report here), I was stopped by a police roadblock. The area was closed for further forensic tests, but would be reopened in a few hours.

A few flower bouquets were lying beside the cordon. “People have left these here because the road is closed,” said the policeman. “We’ll take them up to the barracks later.” He told me that a huge pile of flowers at the scene had to be removed for the tests.

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Later, the flowers had been carefully put back in precise rows and cards left open to show the messages of sympathy. To me, the neatness was trying to cover the disorderly forensic yellow circles and chalked numbers marking the bullets of Saturday night.


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