Veterans Day 2009

Bill Mattocks

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I generally take photos at Veterans and Memorial Day events. As a veteran myself, I feel it is an honor as well as a duty, even if self-imposed. I look at weathered faces and old uniforms and I see only heroes.

I was rather surprised this year. A few days ago, I started getting emails and messages from people posting on my blog, commenting about the photos I took at last year's Veterans Day Parade in Detroit, and asking if I'd be there again.

http://www.wigwamjones.com/

I was touched, and pleased that my photos were able to give people enjoyment. I was of course planning to take photos at a Veterans Day Parade, but to be honest, I was thinking about finding another parade. The one in Detroit has only a few hundred spectators - and nearly 1700 performers! It's distressing!

However, I got a call on Friday night that changed all that. I was told by one of the parade organizers that my photos had been causing vets to come to them with tears in their eyes, asking if there was any way they could be sure I'd be there again this year. I tend to emphasize faces, and the people, and not the trappings and decorations of the parade itself - apparently this had touched a nerve. I was incredibly and humbly honored. Felt like crying myself.

So this year, I did a repeat of the Detroit Veterans Day Parade. Probably too many photos, but I wanted to try to get as many faces as I could. I was also approached by the 338th US Army band and asked to get photos of them, which I did, and by representatives of the South Vietnam veterans who served with US forces in the war in Vietnam.

Here's the photos, in case anyone is interested.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/wigwam/sets/72157622631607715/

Semper Fidelis,

Bill Mattocks
former Sgt, USMC
 

Carol

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Bill, your slideshow was worth every moment of time watching these heroes on the camera. Thanks for sharing this with us, as well as with the local veterans :asian:
 

Gordon Nore

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Bill,

The slide show is awesome. I like the contrast generations -- older soldiers from the WWII era and then the vets of later wars with long, albeit very grey, hair.

The blogs are fun, too.
 

Sukerkin

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I watched the slideshow through again, I do admit, so struck was I by the odd mixture of kind, proud, dignified and content faces that I saw. We hear so much of the true torment that afflicts those that have endured war and it was a priveledge to see so many who wear the positive 'badges' of having done-their-part.

All honour to them.

If any of you can, please seek out any footage on the Net of the BBC coverage of our Rememberance Sunday. My heart nearly burst with pride in my country seeing all faiths, races, social stations and political 'colour' gathered at the Cenotaph to honour our all-too-many fallen.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00ntlp4/Remembrance_Sunday_the_Cenotaph_2009/
 
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