Monday, May 27, 2013

Thoughts on Memorial Day...

The holiest of all holidays
are those kept by ourselves
in silence and apart,
The secret anniversaries of the heart...

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

   This Memorial Day has a special meaning for me since I visited the D-Day beaches in Normandy last summer.  I have a profoundly deeper appreciation for my Father, and all the soldiers who sacrificed so much in the cause of freedom.

   When I made this photograph of the writing at the visitors center at Omaha Beach I thought I was just recording the words so I could remember them.  A man is reflected in the glass at the bottom and I don't recall seeing him as I made the image but it made me think of my Father.  He seems to be looking back at me making the photograph.  A casual photograph became something quite different.  That is how it is with contemplative photography.  We think we are making a photograph of one thing and it turns out to be something we hadn't even imagined.  My Father loved photography and always had a camera near to hand and I know he would be proud that I have returned to the medium we both loved. 

   The American Cemetery at Omaha Beach is breathtaking in its beauty and at the same time heart wrenching in its row after row of white crosses and stars of David.  So many lives lost.  My Father was one of the lucky ones although he carried the emotional scars of the war with him his whole life until his death in 1998.

   On this, America's most solemn day, I am grateful for all the soldiers, past and present, that served and continue to serve this country with dedication and pride.  I pray that we can always be a country that is worthy of their sacrifices.   



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