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Last of the Day by photosbytony

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As the light softened and the shadows darkened I returned to my car, even though the entire day was quiet, the quiet, now that most were gone, was arresting. I stopped and scanned the graves spread out in front of me. The sun disappeared over the horizon, the only sounds the birds chirping gently and I took this one last photo, packed my camera away, leaned against my car and lit a cigarette, reflecting on the day. It occorred to me that war and the consequences are too easily forgotten by me and most I would guess but it lingers far too long if not forever for those who have lost a friend, family member, fellow soldier or a loved one.

*This is the fourth in a series of four images with commentary that for me sum up the emotions I witnessed and felt of a day I spent at the National Cemetary for veterans outside the Indiantown Gap Military Reservation in Central PA. That day and these photos serve to remind me of the reality of war and the impact on those who have lost loved ones. I urge you to view them in order Mourning, Comfort, More Comfort and Last of the Day and hopefully take a minute to remember those who made the sacrifice, both the casualties and the survivors.

505 Views as of 3/17/13

Tags

death, memorial day, respect, sacrifice, veterans, war honor

Comments

  • FranEvans
    FranEvansover 4 years ago

    Oh God, this is sad!

  • I teared up as I wrote it and uploaded the photo, yeah it is sad but all to real. Tony

    – photosbytony

  • FranEvans
    FranEvansover 4 years ago

    Your writing is beautiful too!

  • I teared up as I wrote it and uploaded the photo, yeah it is sad but all to real. Tony

    – photosbytony

  • Just saw my replies to your two comments again and besides repeating myself I never said thank you. I apologize and a hearty THANK YOU for your kind words! Tony

    – photosbytony

  • Martina Fagan
    Martina Faganover 4 years ago

    very poignant image

  • Thank you very muc, Martina! Tony

    – photosbytony

  • mscott207
    mscott207over 4 years ago

    incredibly moving…..such a powerful image by itself, but a thousand times moreso in conjunction with your words. i’m speechless

  • Thanks Michael, it was a powerful moment for me. Tony

    – photosbytony

  • Marg Thomson Photography
    Marg Thomson P...over 4 years ago

    Stunning shot darl! xoxox

  • Thanks Marg as always and thanks for the favorite! Tony

    – photosbytony

  • Annie Lemay  Photography
    Annie Lemay P...over 4 years ago

    An exeptional photo Tony, along with the commentary to go along with it, BRAVO!

  • Thank You Annie, sorry I am late in responding! It was a very emotional day. I went to photograph the 5000 or so small flags on that lined both sides of the road at the entrance and it just drew me in. I don’t know how to put into words the feelings and emotions that built throughout the day. Tony

    – photosbytony

  • Tibby Steedly
    Tibby Steedlyover 4 years ago

    I can imagine what an emotional day this was for you, Tony, but I’m so glad you took these beautiful photos to share with us the terrible cost of war. Thank you.

  • Thanks Tibby, what started as a photo opportunity became much more as the day wore on. I won’t forget again. Tony

    – photosbytony

  • Nigel Bangert
    Nigel Bangertover 4 years ago

    A powerful image. I guess the media coverage of war is so prolific we become a little de-sensertised to the realities of it,

  • Thanks Nigel, I have to agree. The experience of taking those photos certainly made me realize just how de-sensitized I had become. Now there seems to be so little visual documentation of Afghanistan that I think people can easily ignore it and the consequences. Time has an article and photo story this week called
    “Coming Home” that documents the return of a soldier who died in Afghanistan. I think it is important we don’t forget the sacrifices being made whatever one’s feelings are about the wars being fought. Tony

    – photosbytony

  • Peter Denniston
    Peter Dennistonover 4 years ago

    Great lighting compliments the emotive power in this shot.

  • Thanks Peter, I agree, the lighting could not have been better for that shot, soft great angle and just hitting that tree on the right setting it aprt from the dense trees behind it. Gotta love light like that.

    – photosbytony

  • Marjolein Katsma
    Marjolein Katsmaover 4 years ago

    What an exceptional, moving series. I have tears in my eyes now, too… War is so ugly.

  • Thank You Marjolein, yes it is ugly, I guess you can always debate whether it is necessary or not but you can’t dispute the ugliness and brutality of it. Tony

    – photosbytony

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