The body of foreign correspondent Marie Colvin lay in Oyster Bay Funeral Home this weekend, close to the small hamlet where she was raised and far from the war zones where she had practiced her craft for decades.
Neighbors who'd seen Colvin grow up, friends from across the globe and strangers who credit her with giving voice to their people's struggle for freedom all came with one purpose: to honor a woman they remember as having a singular intelligence, warmth and bravery.
"She amplified the courage of everyone she knew, which was a remarkable gift" said Claire Enders, a Yale classmate who traveled from London to attend Colvin's wake.
"It was an honor to know her," Cole said. "She was a marvelous person, even as a child."
Colvin would go on to earn acclaim as a correspondent for The Sunday Times of London, reporting from the most volatile global flashpoints of the last quarter-century.
In 2001, while working in Sri Lanka, she lost her left eye to a hand grenade. Rather than use a prosthetic, she wore a black eye patch.
Several Syrian-Americans attended Colvin's wake, although they did not know her personally. Malek Jandali traveled from Atlanta to attend.
"She was reporting the truth in my homeland," Jandali said. "It's the least I could do to be here . . . and pay respect to her beautiful soul."
"No one else did as much as her in bringing my country's issues out in the mainstream media," Sibam said. "She lost one eye doing it. And then she kept going," in Sri Lanka and to other violent conflicts.
Former foreign correspondent and foreign service member Elizabeth Colton also met Colvin in Libya that year. Colton said her friend was a peerless talent and generous spirit.
They last met in August in Cairo, where Colton was a press attache at the American embassy. Colvin admired a stylish turquoise shirt of Egyptian cotton. She bought herself one, then later got one for Colton.
"That's my treasure now," Colton said of the gift.
A funeral Mass will be offered Monday at 11 a.m. at The Church of Saint Dominic, 93 Anstice St., Oyster Bay. Colvin's body will be cremated at her request.
With Kery Murakami