When a homeless veteran dies on the National Mall and his body remains uncollected for hours, Toby becomes fixated on getting him a proper burial.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Austin ...
George Huffnagle
Tom Quinn ...
John Noonan
Nancy (as Renee Estevez)
Homeless Man


When a homeless veteran dies on the National Mall and his body remains uncollected for hours, Toby becomes fixated on getting him a proper burial.

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Release Date:

15 December 1999 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


President Bartlett and Leo McGarry visit a second-hand bookshop. The President picks up an English translation of The Fables of Phaedrus, the origins of which, as he notes, were written in iambic verse. McGarry then retorts: "Nothing says Christmas like animal fables in iambic verse." Surprisingly, this line is not in iambic verse but in a different metrical verse, called dactylic meter. An example of dactylic meter from Longfellow's Evangeline: "This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks." An example of iambic verse is "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" (Shakespeare). (Examples taken from Wikipedia) Using iambic verse, Leo could have said "To catch the Christmas spirit in a fable tale!" See more »


At the beginning of the episode, Toby Ziegler is called to the Korean War Memorial about his business card having been found in a dead man's pocket. In the shots of the Mall, the Washington Monument is surrounded by scaffolding that was in place during 1999-2000 for renovation. But in a later shot showing the White House at night, the Monument in the background suddenly has no scaffolding. See more »


President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Ooh... The Fables of Phaedrus... 1886... first edition, red leather label, gilt leathering, engraved frontis. Phaedrus, you know, who was a slave, but later granted his freedom by Augustus, wrote his animal fables in iambic verse.
Leo McGarry: Well, nothing says Christmas like animal fables in iambic verse.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: That's what I say.
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Samson, HWV 57: Act III Scene 2: Air: How willing my paternal love (Sung in German): Act III: Let their celestial concerts all unite
Written by George Frideric Handel
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I agree with the previous poster.
2 January 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I am a very conservative guy, and not a big fan of West Wing, BUT I happened to catch this episode in a hospital waiting room one day. I think this episode is the best thing I have ever seen on TV, period. The montage between the Arlington funeral and the children's choir in the White House was some of the best production I have ever seen anywhere. Pure genius! If it weren't for the show's generally liberal bias I would have become a big fan based on this episode alone. I have to give my props to the creative writers. I wish they had left out the political commentary and had been more balanced (over the entirety of the series). It wouldn't have hurt the quality of the series and this episode shows what they were capable of, if they would just entertain and not try to preach.

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