Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Dover Solitude

"U.S. Army soldiers walk away from the transfer vehicle after they placed the flag-draped transfer cases containing the remains of Department of Defense Civilian Hyun K. Shin and U.S. Army Staff Sgt., Christopher M. Ward during a dignified transfer at Dover Air Force Base, on April 8, 2013 in Dover, Delaware."

Last week I was on the tarmac at Dover Air Force Base covering a pair of dignified transfers.

These never get any easier to document. Of all I've had the opportunity to document, the transfer is performed nearly identical each time making you really think about making it different visually that also tells the same tragic story.

Although the media covering these transfers can range from a handful to only a few, it's a moment of solitude each time - much like everyone else, I find myself quiet the entire process from the minute we hit the runway waiting.

Sometimes we become numb to what we are documenting in front of us, but it's afterward we as photographers think about what we documented. Driving home I always reflect on what I saw and think about those that have served and lost their lives at the cost of war.

It's a difficult assignment in many aspects and I always think about the friends and families of those lost. I cannot imagine their grief, but they should also be proud of what their loved one gave for our country.

As always, thank you to the families for allowing us to cover this difficult day in your lives so that others can understand what is happening in our complex world.


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