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Daily Freeman Life Editor Ivan Lajara talks about journalism, living in the Hudson Valley, language, the Web, cats and even politics. But he shouldn't.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

What’s in a name? Again

Army Pfc. Doron Chan of Highland died serving in Iraq in March 2004. He was 20 and the third casualty that town suffered in that war. Political Editor Hugh Reynolds wrote about the hamlet honoring its fallen on Monday.

According to our story (and the U.S. Defense Department, The New York Times, The Washington Post and countless other sources), his name was Doron.
But the photo we ran with a plaque on Black Creek honoring him -- along with U.S. Army Sgt. Eugene Williams and Cpl. Michael Oremus -- spelled Chan’s name “Doran,” as does the high school, The American Legion and many people in the small community.
The plaque at the cemetery -- we also ran a photo of that one, by the way -- says "Doron." The monument at the American Legion Veterans Park says "Doran."

SUNY New Paltz has "Doron" in its records. But his high school superintendent's office said the name is Doran.
The town did not return a call for clarification.
Chan’s parents no longer live around here. And a translator we had used for a story once was not sure about the spelling.

Who’s right?

The name is Chinese. So here’s it is.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I suspect somebody’s going to have to change a plaque or two.

UPDATE: The town's clerk called back, with "Doran" on military and burial records. Go figure.
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