by John Rutherford, producer, Washington D.C.
Army Sgt. Princess Samuels' burial today at Arlington National Cemetery was much like her life, bathed in pink.
Her graveside floral arrangement contained lots of pink flowers. Many of the mourners wore pink in her honor. Her mother, Mrs. Anika Lawal, had on a large pink hat.
"She absolutely adored pink," her mother told WRC-TV.
All of Samuels' clothes were pink. So was her car.
"It was blue when she got it, but it didn't stay blue long," her mother told the Baltimore Sun. Samuels had her car custom-painted purplish-pink.
She even dyed her white poodle Skylar's ears and tail pink.
"She just loved life," her mother told WRC.
Samuels, nicknamed "Noodle" because of her 5-foot-2, 100-pound frame, joined the Army to see the world and ended up in Iraq as an imagery specialist in military intelligence.
"She's always been very smart, very intelligent," her aunt told the Sun.
But she was also terrified in Iraq and couldn't wait to get out, according to her mother.
"She was just like the other soldiers," her mother told the Washington Post. "Many of them don't believe in this mission. She didn't."
On Aug. 15, Samuels and Spc. Zandra T. Walker, 28, of Greenville, S.C., were killed in a mortar attack on their base in Taji, about 20 miles north of Baghdad.
"I want to know why I'm planning a funeral," her embittered mother told the Post last week, "while George Bush is planning a wedding."
Samuels was the 363rd casualty of the Iraq war to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Washington Producer John Rutherford is a decorated Vietnam veteran. He posts a weekly blog on burials of service members at Arlington National Cemetery.