In the Nation

Mourners follow the caisson bearing the coffin of Sgt. Aaron X. Wittman at Arlington.
Mourners follow the caisson bearing the coffin of Sgt. Aaron X. Wittman at Arlington. (ALEX WONG / Getty)
Posted: February 10, 2013

Year's first war casualty buried

WASHINGTON - More than 100 family members, friends, and uniformed service members marched slowly and quietly down a hill at Arlington National Cemetery on Friday, following Army Sgt. Aaron X. Wittman's coffin, draped with an American flag and carried on a horse-drawn caisson.

Wittman, 28, of Chester, Va., was buried with full military honors in Section 60, where those killed in Iraq and Afghanistan lie.

He was killed Jan. 10 in Nangahar province in Afghanistan, becoming the first U.S. casualty of this year. While on mounted patrol, he was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade, the Defense Department said.

Wittman was on his second deployment at the time. His awards included the Purple Heart and Bronze Star. - Washington Post

Museum gets federal boost

SEATTLE - The Seattle museum named for the Northwest's first Asian American elected official is being given a federal designation that could lead to government assistance and increased national exposure.

Outgoing Interior Secretary Ken Salazar plans to be in Seattle on Sunday to designate the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience an "affiliated area" of the National Park Service.

Interior Department spokesman Blake Androff said the move is part of Salazar's "continuing efforts to better tell the story of all of America and her people through the National Park Service."

Salazar will be joined at the Seattle event by National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis, and members of Washington's congressional delegation, including Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, and Rep Jim McDermott, who led the effort for the museum's designation. - Seattle Times

Bacon festival draws crowd

DES MOINES, Iowa - The smell of bacon was in the air Saturday as thousands converged on Iowa's capital city for an increasingly popular festival celebrating all things connected with the meat.

Some people wore Viking hats and others walked around with makeshift snouts for the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival. The annual event featured more than 10,000 pounds of bacon served in unusual ways, including chocolate-dipped and in cupcakes and gelato.

The smell of concoctions like bacon gumbo and chocolate bacon bourbon tarts wafted through one of two buildings at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. The other building had an Iceland theme, with a Viking boat and Icelandic dishes with bacon, to honor a visiting delegation. - AP

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