On Thursday September 20, 2007 Barbara was wrong. I think the 4.4 million people who saw my photograph and those who read the article would agree that she was wrong…at least for a day.
The story centered around soldiers tales of coping with sacrificial heroism. It focused on the impact that selfless sacrifice had on surviving soldiers. Some saw their peers cover up live grenades with their own bodies in an attempt to contain the blast. I cannot imagine what survivor’s guilt is like.
My good friend Deron immediately thought of the film Saving Private Ryan when I told him about the story. The film opens and closes with an elderly man who toward the end of his life travels to a headstone at Arlington Cemetery asking if his life was worth it. The actor was kneeling above the grave of one man who sacrificed his life for the man during World War II. “I tried to be a good man” he says with his face in his hands, weeping, at the end of the film.
My photograph is of a soldier, hero and survivor–with shrapnel wounds and all. It was a gift for me to meet and photograph you Jeffery. Thank you.
There is a long list of local freelancers and I was called for this assignment. Only the second assignment from that particular section (news) in three months. It was a blessing that I was chosen for this assignment. Not just because it went on A1 but because of the content of the story. There are no coincidences in life.
I encourage you to read the full story in USA TODAY.