Sunday, May 30, 2010

Atkinson Nebraska Lifestyle and Art Photographer: Always Remember.

Memorial Day plays an important role in my life and in the lives of my family members. Growing up, we were taught to show highest respect to service members. My grandfathers, my father, many uncles, and many cousins had served or were serving in our armed forces. Some had even given their lives. My father and grand-father presided over military services in my home town of Broken Bow, and every year our tradition was the same. We would go and pay our respects to our fallen brethren. Memorial Day revolved around that responsibility and nothing else.

Most recently, we lost a very good friend (I would call him a brother really), to the war in the Middle East. Though it was over 2 years ago already, it doesn't feel like it, and the wound, though healing, is still painful. Since then, I have seen many of my students and other relatives enlist, deploy, and come home again. Each time the emotion of the realization of what this means overwhelms me. I look into their youthful eyes and and wonder if they really comprehend the reality of their choice.

This day weighs heavily on me every year. I struggle to hold back my emotion as I see the feeble old soldiers stand just a little straighter when they raise their hands in salute. Some are wheeled into position in their wheelchairs, but when given the command, they find the strength to rise and stand at attention.The Daughters of the American Revolution are not young. They read their pieces about the commemoration of each conflict, battle, and war. The young band member plays the taps from the distance and the soldiers raise their rifles to shoot at the command. Though not in unison, these volleys reverberate throughout the cemetery. It never ceases to amaze me how much power the sound of a gun shot has.

As I drove out west of town this evening, I was hunting for some beautiful landscape images. When I turned down the cemetery road, I was overcome by an incredible urge to pull over and walk through the cemetery. Cars were just leaving, and many families were putting the last of the decorations around their family plots. The sun was lowering in the sky, and in the silence of the moment, I prayed for the continued safety of our armed forces, I prayed for resolution for the senseless violence we all face every day on this earth, and I prayed for the families of the fallen. I give thanks for the freedoms I have the privilege to enjoy-and I thank those who paid the cost of that freedom. God Bless You.

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Katrina Lee Photography is a professional custom photography business specializing in natural light and location portraiture as well as fine art portraiture.