Sunday Times boss hails Marie Colvin as ‘perfect inspiration’

Sunday Times editor John Witherow shares his Marie Colvin memories (LIR Photo by Alycia Powers)

Marie Colvin will always be an inspiration to other journalists, said Sunday Times editor John Witherow who attended the funeral of the slain reporter in the beachside town of Oyster Bay on March 12.

She was “just perfect,” Witherow said after the service.

“She was a wonderful woman, a compassionate caring woman and as we heard in the service today she was funny and reverent and she was just perfect.

“I think she was an outstanding reporter. She went all over the world. She covered a lot of wars. She was in Libya recently, and as you know, of course, Syria. She took tremendous risks and what she did she though was very important and she thought she made a difference and I think she did.

“She just wanted to cover conflicts because she thought she could make a difference by doing that and these sort of things, she really could,” he said.

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Colvin was laid to rest after a poignant service at St. Dominic’s Church. A large American flag hung in the center of the town in remembrance where more than 300 people turned out to pay their last respects.

“MARIE COLVIN…. TAMILS” read a sign held by Sri Lankan immigrants: “Around the Globe – Pay Tribute to Your Courage and Sacrifice.”

Colvin’s body had been buried with a GPS in Homs, Syria, after her death on Feb. 22 and was only retrieved a week before the service on Long Island.

“There was a tremendous amount of diplomacy,” said Witherow. “We appealed to the Russians to help, the British were involved and the Americans. Everyone was trying to get her body out.”

It was a tremendous relief to Colvin’s mother, Rosemarie. The family wanted a proper burial in their native Long Island.

Lifelong friend Katrina Heron paid tribute to Colvin during the emotional service prompting tears and laughter from those in the pews.

“She would say…can we move this party,” said Heron as mourners laughed. “That voice was unmistakable…expansible, amused, irresistibly self confident, self deprecating, fearlessness in it’s loyalties, alive.

“She never went anywhere without her cache of reporter’s notebooks—or her pearls. She had genius of bringing people together.”