The traveling version of the Vietnam Memorial was in Englewood, FL last weekend. It is every bit as moving as the full size wall in DC.
I planned to photograph the wall at night. There was a full moon that night and I thought there would be less people around after dark. My idea was to include the moon in the background of the photo.
When I arrived, the crowd was pretty small and the moon was big in the sky, just as I had hoped. As I walked around looking for the best angle, I saw a silhouette of a kneeling soldier, cut out of a piece of plywood. I was told a local veteran made the display. That changed my plan.
I photographed the soldier and a portion of the wall, as well as a few general images of the scene, just for the memories. I knew the image I wanted was a composite of several photos. This was one of those times when the final image was clear in my head; I just needed to put it all together. It took about two hours working with Photoshop, to arrive at this image.
It seemed to me that the lone soldier was carrying the weight of all those on the wall. Many of the vets I know carry the same load.
I hope those who see this image will take a moment to thank those who have served in the military. They have made sacrifices we may never know.
Thanks for serving.