When I clicked on her site this morning I was excited to find that one of my pictures was chosen as a contender for the finalists to be announced later this week. I jumped up, shook my tail feathers and shouted, “Hallelujah!” You’ve heard of air guitar? I did the air chest bump with no one in particular and hurt myself. It’s incredibly flattering to be singled out with the other submissions because I’m tellin’ ya, there are some great pictures in the running, and it’s only day three of this contest.
This is my picture:
It’s one of my favorites of the ones I've taken since I started dabbling in photography. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy and patriotic whenever I look at it, and it’s actually one of about fifty I took of flags last July Fourth. I like the simplicity of it.
The other image I will submit tomorrow is this one:
I captured this fellow during the local Veteran’s Day parade. He quietly flashed the victory sign to veteran after veteran as they rolled by him in the parade. They knowingly returned the gesture. He never knew I was behind him, shedding tears for the unspoken emotion in that hand sign between elderly men and women still feeling the scars of battle. The gesture drowned out the bands and crowd noise around me.
These images and others at The Pioneer Woman remind me of the sacrifices of so many, including my grandfathers. Grandpa B. fought in World War II and was highly decorated. He brought home from the war a huge Nazi flag he tore down from a pole during fighting in a German town, and he would sometimes bring it out to show us grandkids and tell us about war stories. We were too young to really understand the significance of the flag or his service. I regret now that I didn’t listen more, since he passed away twenty four years ago.
Grandpa M. served in World War I, and I never heard him discuss it. Perhaps because he was so old and I was so young. He died when I was ten years old, and he mostly shared fond memories of the family farm in the last years of his life. He was such a gentle man it’s hard for me to imagine him in battle. I don’t really know the full details of his time in Europe, but I do have a memento of his war service. It’s a copy of a letter he wrote to his mother at the end of the war. It was included in the family history book one of my aunts compiled several years ago, and I found it recently when we cleaned out the attic at the old house. It makes me smile to read it and imagine what a poor farm boy from rural Illinois thought about his travels to another part of the world.
A LETTER HOME