'Nightline' to Honor 'The Fallen'

One year since honoring the American service men and women killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, Ted Koppel and ABC News "Nightline" will again pay tribute to the fallen by devoting an extended broadcast to reading the names and showing the photographs of more than 900 service members who have been killed in those countries over the last year.

Titled "The Fallen," the special "Nightline" broadcast will air Memorial Day, Monday, May 30, 2005, at 11:35 p.m. ET on the ABC Television Network. ABC News Radio will air excerpts of the program.

Last year on April 30, 2004, "Nightline" honored the 721 service men and women killed in action and in non-hostile situations in Iraq since the start of the war there. Less than a month later on May 26, 2004, the program paid tribute to the122 service members killed in the war on terror since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001. Monday's program will honor those killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and whose names have been released by the Defense Department since last year's broadcasts.

"Nightline" will show a photograph of each serviceman and woman in succession with his/her name, military branch, rank and age, while Koppel reads their names aloud. In order to include each name and face, "Nightline" will be extended from 30 to about 45 minutes. Many of the photographs featured in the program are being provided by The Military Times Media Group, publishers of Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times and Marine Corps Times.

"Just as it was a year ago, 'The Fallen' is about the men and women who have died in our names in Iraq and Afghanistan," said Ted Koppel. "We owe it to these men and women who have died in the cause of freedom that we remember them with honor."

Said "Nightline" executive producer Tom Bettag, "Too often we simply report casualties in terms of numbers. 'The Fallen' is our way of reminding viewers, regardless of their feelings about the war, that the men and women who have given their lives in our behalf are individuals with names and faces."

Ted Koppel is the anchor and managing editor of "Nightline." Tom Bettag is the executive producer. "Nightline" airs at 11:35 p.m. weeknights on the ABC Television Network.

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