"I knew I wanted to write about him, but I didn't know how, or whether he'd let me. But I did something I'd never done before; I wrote to a stranger, and he wrote back."
- Dan O'Brien
Playwright Dan O'Brien and photojournalist Paul Watson began e-mails exchanges in 2007, eventually leading up to a meeting in the Arctic Circle in 2010. As you will see in the play, the event that inspired Dan's first e-mail to Paul occurred 14 years prior. Here is a detailed timeline of the events expressed in The Body of an American.
1987 - Paul Watson begins working for The Toronto Star in Canada.
1993 - Paul clicks the shutter in Mogadishu, Somalia. The Battle of Mogadishu was fought
in October, 1993 in Mogadishu, Somalia, between US forces and Somali militiamen
loyal to the self-proclaimed president-to-be Mohamed Farrah Aidid. A US Army force
in Mogadishu (Delta Force) attempted to seize two of Aidid’s lieutenants during a
meeting in the city. Shortly after the assault began, Somali militia and armed civilian
fighters shot down two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters. The battle resulted in 18 deaths,
80 wounded, and one helicopter pilot captured among the US raid party and rescue
forces. American sources estimate between 1,500 and 3,000 Somali casualties,