In this Presidential election season (or perhaps we should start calling it “epoch” with the current length of campaigns in the U.S.), it is no surprise to return regularly to political topics through our posts following the recent “Ands” and “thes” and things like that and the earlier Politics, Satire, and Media as well as Politics & Media 2. Meanwhile, the recent flurry of media-fueled moments in the current Presidential campaign has generated moments of visual communication that appear to have all the earmarks of major historical images in the making. The appearance of the parents of Capt. Humayun Khan, killed in Iraq in 2004, at the Democratic National Convention has set off some of the most powerful political aftershocks seen in contemporary American politics. There are many indications that the image of Mr. Khizr Khan pulling out a pocket-sized version of the American constitution from his jacket to punctuate a major point in his speech, with his wife Ghazala Khan standing stoically by his side, will stand as a striking image of our times.
Astonishingly, the Khans had already appeared in an acclaimed documentary from 2008 that featured families of slain American veterans: Section 60: Arlington National Cemetery. In this piece appearing today on Democracy Now!, an excerpt from the film is shown which depicts the couple visiting their son’s grave and both Khizr and Ghazala Khan discussing the impact of his death and their visits to the cemetery on their lives. There is also an interview with a co-director of the film, Jon Alpert.