Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,

Reading my own obituary

I have a bit of an obsession with people who have certain things in common with me, like my exact date of birth, for instance, or shared interests via livejournal.

One sub-set of this obsession is with people who share my name. This includes a number of ancestors, going back to Sir Nicholas Whyte aka White, who lived c.1532-1592 (and died a prisoner in the Tower of London). I have mentioned a couple of others here before - a 19th-century New York architect and the president of the Huron County Federation of Agriculture.

Of course, I have a Google alert set up for my own name, and variations of it (including "Nick Whyte", which I never use myself), which is where I got the reference to the Huron farmers' spokesman. I would estimate that 95% of the alerts I get are about me, often flagging up interviews I had forgotten giving (indeed, in one recent case it was an interview I hadn't given - they used stock footage of me from an interview last year and pretended it was current).

Over the last couple of days, it's been a little different. Nicholas Whyte, the bright son of Jamaican immigrants to Brooklyn, joined the US marines and was killed by a sniper in Iraq on 21 June, two days before his 22nd burthday; his funeral was yesterday. It is a bit odd to read an obituary with one's own name on (see here and here). From there it is a simple jump to his myspace profile, where his goal for this year, sadly unachieved, was to "stay alive". His myspace blog has been updated with details of his wake and funeral, and of a scholarship fund in his memory. I may send them a donation.
Tags: deaths, war on terror, world: iraq

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