Friday, June 04, 2004

The bride and groom were dressed for the occasion, but most of the other trappings of a wedding ceremony were missing when Jacob Schwartz and Aimee Thornton were married by the bride's father — a chaplain stationed in Iraq.

The midday heat blanketed the Middle Eastern desert, but the sun had barely made an appearance in Birmingham at 5:30 a.m. Thursday as the ceremony took place.

Mark Thornton, the bride's father and an Army National Guard chaplain stationed in Mozul, Iraq, conducted the ceremony via telephone. It was broadcast on the Russ and Dee in the Morning show Thursday on WYDE-FM...

The couple sat across from each other in swivel chairs, wearing headphones and holding hands, as Mark Thornton spoke. "Real love will make your burdens lighter because you carry them together," the preacher said.

"We always thought Mark would marry us. We always thought it would be at a church," said Schwartz, a junior meteorology major at the University of Alabama. "We never imagined it would be conducted from Iraq."

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